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Characteristics of Mining-Induced Seismicity and Rock Bursting in a Deep Hard-Rock Mine
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  • Description:
    Over a recent 20-month observation period, the U.S. Bureau of Mines obtained seismogram records from a single vertical-component, short-period seismometer installed at the surface of a metal mine in northern Idaho. The seismic events were analyzed for local (Richter) magnitude (M), time of occurrence, location, and relation to rock bursting and production blasting. Approximately 150 seismic events with -0.5 ? M ? 2.9 were located within the mine, yielding a b value (slope of the logarithm of the number of events with magnitude greater than M versus M) of 0.5. Event locations were constrained using a dense underground array of high-frequency accelerometers. Twenty of the surface-recorded events, with 0.5 ? M ? 2.9, were associated with rock bursts that produced damage requiring at least 1/2 day of cleanup and/or repair. Other possibly hazardous rock bursts, with magnitudes as small as -1.1, were numerous but were not associated with significant structural damage. Approximately 60 pct of the seismic events with M > -0.5 and 75 pct of damaging rock bursts occurred within 45 min of blasting. Estimates of characteristic rupture dimensions for rock bursts with -1.1 ? M ? 2.9, based on a conventional dislocation shear-slip model of failure, range from 3 to 300 m.

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