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Finite Element Analysis Model for Determination of In-situ and Mining Induced Stresses as a Function of Two Different Mining Methods Used at Diavik Diamond Mine Open Access


Other title
Rock Mechanics
Underground Mining
Numerical Modeling
Mining Induced Subsidence
Stope Stability Assessment
Mining Induced Stress
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Sepehri, Mohammadali
Supervisor and department
Apel, Derek (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Bindiganavile, Vivek (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Pourrahimian, Yashar (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Liu, Wei (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Apel, Derek (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Galecki, Greg (Missouri University of Science and Technology, Mining and Nuclear Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mining Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
One of the essential components of the underground excavation design process, which directly influences the performance and stability of underground constructions, is knowledge of the in-situ and mining-induced stress. Knowing the magnitudes and directions of these stresses can help determine suitable shapes and orientations for tunnels (drifts) and stopes. In addition, knowing the stress regime in the rock mass can be used to predict the type of rock failure that may occur in the future and identify potential rockbursting zones. The problem statement for this geomechanical research thesis is: “The determination of in-situ and mining-induced stress regimes as a function of two different underground mining methods used at Diavik Diamond Mine” In this research, the main objective is to develop an engineering methodology to estimate the in-situ and mining-induced stress regimes in the host rock and orebody using the finite element analysis method. A case study of Diavik Diamond Mine is used to illustrate the estimation procedure and to implement the proposed methodology. In order to reach the objectives of this research, a full realistic three dimensional finite element model of the case study mine was developed. This finite element analysis model was used to determine the in-situ and mining-induced stress regimes at the case study mine. Some laboratory tests have been conducted on Kimberlite samples to calibrate the material strength properties (such as elastic and strength parameters). Finally, the results from the developed finite element model are validated by comparing them to actual field data and site observations. The main contributions of this study include developing and implementing an engineering methodology for estimating in-situ and mining-induced stresses, providing a better understanding of the stress distribution regime in a mine and investigating the role of mining methods on mining-induced stress fields. The outcomes of this research will enhance the body of knowledge regarding the effect of stress ratio (the ratio between horizontal to vertical stress) and stress heterogeneity regimes on the stability of underground excavations and possible zones of failure.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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