Numerical modelling of rock-mass response to underground excavations is of vital importance for the decision-making process in designing and running a mine. Likewise, seismic monitoring with state-of-the- art local seismic systems is indispensable as a means for quantifying hazard and as an indicator for potential instabilities in the rock-mass due to mining activities, geological structures and other hazard- enhancing factors. The concept of integrating observational data with mining-oriented numerical modelling has emerged as the next logical step in the development of more reliable computer-based methods for treating the problems of rock-mass stability, damage evolution and the on-set of sudden material failure.
The most important feature of an integrated numerical model is the ability to take real data, as provided by a seismic monitoring system, and to use this data as an additional input for solving a forward problem about the evolution of the physical state of the modelled rock-mass.
Restrictions imposed on numerical models by the integration paradigm
Not every numerical model currently in use in the South African mining industry is suitable for integration with real seismic data. The basic requirements to be met by an integration-ready numerical model of rock- mass response to mining are:
- It must be designed to simulate the evolution with time of the physical state of the rock- mass.
- It must be equipped with the capability of converting the parameters of a real seismic event into a corresponding model-compatible input in the form of an additional loading on the rock-mass.
- It must allow for an unambiguous identification and quantification of Aseismic events @ among the model-generated data.