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Mining-Induced Stress Transfer and Its Relation to a 1.9 Seismic Event in an Ultra-deep South African Gold Mine

  • On 27 December 2007, a 1.9 seismic event occurred within a dyke in the deep-level Mponeng Gold Mine, South Africa. From the seismological network of the mine and the one from the Japanese-German Underground Acoustic Emission Research in South Africa (JAGUARS) group, the hypocentral depth (3,509 m), focal mechanism and aftershock location were estimated. Since no mining activity took place in the days before the event, dynamic triggering due to blasting can be ruled out as the cause. To investigate the hypothesis that stress transfer, due to excavation of the gold reef, induced the event, we set up a small-scale high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) geomechanical numerical model. The model consisted of the four different rock units present in the mine: quartzite (footwall), hard lava (hanging wall), conglomerate (gold reef) and diorite (dykes). The numerical solution was computed using a finite-element method with a discretised mesh of approximately elements. The initial stress state of the model is in agreement with in situ data fromOn 27 December 2007, a 1.9 seismic event occurred within a dyke in the deep-level Mponeng Gold Mine, South Africa. From the seismological network of the mine and the one from the Japanese-German Underground Acoustic Emission Research in South Africa (JAGUARS) group, the hypocentral depth (3,509 m), focal mechanism and aftershock location were estimated. Since no mining activity took place in the days before the event, dynamic triggering due to blasting can be ruled out as the cause. To investigate the hypothesis that stress transfer, due to excavation of the gold reef, induced the event, we set up a small-scale high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) geomechanical numerical model. The model consisted of the four different rock units present in the mine: quartzite (footwall), hard lava (hanging wall), conglomerate (gold reef) and diorite (dykes). The numerical solution was computed using a finite-element method with a discretised mesh of approximately elements. The initial stress state of the model is in agreement with in situ data from a neighbouring mine, and the step-wise excavation was simulated by mass removal from the gold reef. The resulting 3D stress tensor and its changes due to mining were analysed based on the Coulomb failure stress changes on the fault plane of the event. The results show that the seismic event was induced regardless of how the Coulomb failure stress changes were calculated and of the uncertainties in the fault plane solution. We also used the model to assess the seismic hazard due to the excavation towards the dyke. The resulting curve of stress changes shows a significant increase in the last in front of the dyke, indicating that small changes in the mining progress towards the dyke have a substantial impact on the stress transfer.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Moritz O. ZieglerORCiDGND, Karsten ReiterORCiDGND, Oliver HeidbachORCiDGND, Arno ZangORCiDGND, Grzegorz Kwiatek, Dietrich Stromeyer, Torsten DahmORCiDGND, Georg DresenGND, Gerhard Hofmann
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-015-1033-x
ISSN:0033-4553
ISSN:1420-9136
Parent Title (English):Pure and applied geophysics
Publisher:Springer
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:3D geomechanical numerical model; Coulomb failure stress; Induced seismicity; deep-level mining; static stress change; tabular mining
Volume:172
Issue:10
Pagenumber:14
First Page:2557
Last Page:2570
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert