Mining-induced seismicity, particularly high-energy seismic events, is a major factor giving rise to dynamic phenomena within the rock strata. Rockbursts and stress relief events produce the most serious consequences in underground mines, are most difficult to predict and tend to interact with other mining hazards, thus making control measures difficult to implement. In the context of steadily increasing mining depth within copper mines in the Legnica-Głogów Copper Belt Area (Poland) alongside the gradually decreasing effective mining thickness, a study of the causes and specificity of mining-induced seismicity in specific geological and mining settings may improve the effectiveness of the prevention and control measures taken to limit the negative impacts of rockbursts in underground mine workings, thus ensuring safe working conditions for miners. This study investigates the presumed relationship between the mined ore deposit thickness and fundamental parameters of mining-induced seismicity, with the main focus on the actual locations of their epicenters with respect to the working face in commonly used room-and-pillar systems. Data recalled in this study was supplied by the O/ZG Rudna geophysics station. Based on information about the actual ore deposit thickness in particular sections of the mines (Rudna Główna, Rudna Północna, Rudna Zachodnia) and recent reports on seismic activity in this area, three panels were selected for further studies (each in different mine region), where the ore deposit thickness was varied (panel G-7/5 – Rudna Główna, panel XX/1 – Rudna Północna, panel XIX/1 – Rudna Zachodnia). Data from seismic activity reports in those regions was used for energetic and quantitative analysis of seismic events in the context of the epicenter location with respect to the selected mining system components: undisturbed strata, working face and abandoned excavations. In consideration of the available rockburst control methods and preventive measures, all events (above 1 × 103 J) registered in the database were analysed to infer about the global rockburst hazard level in the panel and phenomena induced (provoked) by blasting were considered in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented control measures.
The current rockburst hazard conditions in the copper mines are the consequence of mining-induced seismicity of the rock strata whilst the majority of registered rockbursts have been caused by high-energy seismic events. T he analysis of seismic activity in recent years indicates that the region of the Rudna mine is the region of the highest seismic activity. This paper is an attempt at evaluating the seismicity levels in the Rudna mine in the period from 2006-2015, within the entire mine and in its particular sections. Key parameters of seismic activity include the number of registered seismic events, total energy emission levels, and a unit energy factor. The variability of Gutenberg -Richter (GR) parameters are analyzed and the epicenters’ locations are investigated with respect to the stope position. T he distinction is made between low-energy (103 ≤ As < 105 J) and high-energy (As ≥ 105J) seismic events ahead of the stope, in the opening-up cross-throughs and in the gob areas. It appears that the risk level of a high-energy event occurrence in the R udna mine has not changed in recent years and has remained on a high level whilst the differences in seismic activity, in particular mine sections, are attributed to the varied extraction height and varied thickness of rockburst-prone carbonate layers in the roof of the copper ore deposit. The analysis of the epicenters’ locations with respect to the stope reveals that no matter what the seismic energy levels, the largest number of rockbursts are registered in the opening-up cross-through zone. Low-energy tremors are mostly located in the gob areas, high-energy events occur mostly ahead of the stope. T hus, the evaluation of the seismicity conditions in the Rudna mine seems to positively verify the relationship between the number of registered events and the levels of generated seismic energy, taking the local geological and mining conditions and the specificity of the room and pillar mining method into account.
This article concerns numerical modeling of the impact of mining operations on fault behavior, carried out on the basis of a calculation program based on the finite element method. It was assumed that the fault is a single discontinuity in the form of a vertically-oriented plane, and the conditions in which surfaces merge are defined by the right of the Coulomb friction. On the one hand, the calculations are related to the fault’s response to additional weight resulting from mining operations, and on the other, they are related to the impact that occurrences in the fault’s plane had on the immediate surroundings of the extraction center. The behavior of the fault was analyzed based on distributions in the plane of shear stress and slip, together with their range and energy dissipated due to friction. In turn, the impact of the fault on its immediate environment was analyzed based on variations in the total energy density of elasticity. The results of numerical modeling made it possible to draw conclusions concerning mining operation in the proximity of tectonic dislocations in the context of seismic hazard’s levels.
With reference to the situation experienced in several Polish collieries where the risk of occurrence of gas-geodynamic phenomena is increasing and decisions to start the mining activities need to take numerous constraints associated with previous mining into account, this paper addresses certain geo-mechanical aspects of longwall mining in the zones of excavation edge interactions giving rise to major changes in the conditions of the deposit and rock strata, as a consequence of previous mining operations in adjacent coalbeds. Starting from the analytical description of displacements and stresses in the proximity of longwall mining systems, the paper summarizes the results of model tests and investiga-tions of the influence that the excavation edge has on the behavior and structural continuity of a portion of the coal body in the coalbed beneath or above an old excavation. Based on selected nonlinear functions emulating the presence of edges in the rock strata, a comparative study is carried out by investigating two opposite directions of workface advance, from the gob area towards the coal body and from the coal body towards the gobs. The discussion of the results relies on the analysis of roof deformation and the concentration factor of the vertical stress component at the workface front.
The coal exploitation in the Upper Silesia region (along the Vistula River) triggers the strata seismic activity, characterized by very high energy, which can create mining damage of the surface objects, without any noticeable damages in the underground mining structures. It is assumed that the appearance of the high energy seismic events is the result of faults’ activation in the vicinity of the mining excavation. This paper presents the analysis of a case study of one coal mine, where during exploitation of the longwall panel no. 729, the high energy seismic events occurred in the faulty neighborhood. The authors had analyzed the cause of the presented seismic events, described the methods of energy decreasing and applied methods of prevention in the selected mining region. The analysis concluded that the cause of the high energy seismic events, during the exploitation of the longwall panel no. 729 was the rapid displacements on the fault surface. The fault’s movements arose in the overburden, about 250 m above the excavated longwall panel, and they were strictly connected to the cracking of the thick sandstone layer.
This article describes stability issues of main excavations in deep copper mines in Poland, from the perspective of mining work safety. To protect main transportation and ventilation routes, parts of rock are left untaken to form so-called protective pillars. The problem was to determine the size of main excavations protective pillars in deep underground copper mines in which provide stability of main excavations. The results of numerical simulations of the stability of protective pillars under specific geological and mining conditions are presented, covering: underground depth and width of protective pillar, number, size and layout geometry of protected excavations, as well as the impact of parameters of surrounding gob areas. Problem was solved applying numerical simulations based on the finite element method which were performed in a plane state of strain by means of Phase2 v. 8.0 software. The behavior of the rock mass under load was described by an elastic-plastic model. The Mohr-Coulomb criterion was used to assess the stability of the rock mass. The results of numerical modeling have practical applications in the designing of protective pillars primarily in determining their width. These results were used to prepare new guidelines for protective pillars in Polish copper mines in the Legnica-Glogow Copper District.
The article discusses changes in Polish regulations concerning assessment of the climate hazard in underground mines. Currently, the main empirical index representing the heat strain, used in qualification of the workplace to one of the climate hazard levels in Poland is the equivalent climate temperature. This simple heat index allows easy and quick assessment of the climate hazard. To a major extent, simple heat indices have simplifications and are developed for a specific working environments. Currently, the best methods used in evaluation of microclimate conditions in the workplace are those based on the theory of human thermal balance, where the physiological parameters characterising heat strain are body water loss and internal core temperature of the human body. The article describes the results of research on usage of equivalent climate temperature to heat strain evaluation in underground mining excavations. For this purpose, the numerical model of heat exchange between man and his environment was used, taken from PN-EN ISO 7933:2005. The research discussed in this paper has been carried out considering working conditions and clothing insulation in use in underground mines. The analyses performed in the study allowed formulation of conclusions concerning application of the equivalent climate temperature as a criterion of assessment of climate hazards in underground mines.
Geodesic measurements of mining area deformations indicate that their description fails to be regular, as opposed to what the predictions based on the relationships of the geometric-integral theory suggest. The Knothe theory, most commonly applied in that case, considers such parameters as the exploitation coefficient a and the angle of the main influences range tgβ, describing the geomechanical properties of the medium, as well as the mining conditions. The study shows that the values of the parameters a = 0.8 and tgβ = 2.0, most commonly adopted for the prediction of surface deformation, are not entirely adequate in describing each and every mining situation in the analysed rock mass. Therefore, the paper aims to propose methodology for determining the value of exploitation coefficient a, which allows to predict the values of surface subsidence caused by underground coal mining with roof caving, depending on geological and mining conditions. The characteristics of the analysed areas show that the following factors affect surface subsidence: thickness of overburden, type of overburden strata, type of Carboniferous strata, rock mass disturbance and depth of exploitation. These factors may allow to determine the exploitation coefficient a, used in the Knothe theory for surface deformation prediction.