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Marek Cała, Joanna Jakóbczyk and Katarzyna Cyran

Abstract

The geological structure of the Bełchatów area is very complicated as a result of tectonic and sedimentation processes. The long-term exploitation of the Bełchatów field influenced the development of horizontal displacements. The variety of factors that have impact on the Bełchatów western slope stability conditions, forced the necessity of complex geotechnical monitoring. The geotechnical monitoring of the western slope was carried out with the use of slope inclinometers. From 2005 to 2013 fourteen slope inclinometers were installed, however, currently seven of them are in operation. The present analysis depicts inclinometers situated in the north part of the western slope, for which the largest deformations were registered. The results revealed that the horizontal displacements and formation of slip surfaces are related to complicated geological structure and intensive tectonic deformations in the area. Therefore, the influence of exploitation marked by changes in slope geometry was also noticeable.

Open access

Marek Cała, Agnieszka Stopkowicz, Michał Kowalski, Mateusz Blajer, Katarzyna Cyran and Kajetan D’obyrn

Abstract

Stability of mining openings requires consideration of a number of factors, such as: geological structure, the geometry of the underground mining workings, mechanical properties of the rock mass, changes in stress caused by the influence of neighbouring workings. Long-term prediction and estimation of workings state can be analysed with the use of numerical methods. Application of 3D numerical modelling in stability estimation of workings with complex geometry was described with the example of Crystal Caves in Wieliczka Salt Mine. Preservation of the Crystal Caves reserve is particularly important in view of their unique character and the protection of adjacent galleries which are a part of tourist attraction included in UNESCO list. A detailed 3D model of Crystal Caves and neighbouring workings was built. Application of FLAC3D modelling techniques enabled indication of the areas which are in danger of stability loss. Moreover, the area in which protective actions should be taken as well as recommendations concerning the convergence monitoring were proposed.

Open access

Marek Cała, Antoni Tajduś, Wacław Andrusikiewicz, Michał Kowalski, Malwina Kolano, Agnieszka Stopkowicz, Katarzyna Cyran and Joanna Jakóbczyk

Abstract

Located in central Poland, the Kłodawa salt dome is 26 km long and about 2 km wide. Exploitation of the dome started in 1956, currently rock salt extraction is carried out in 7 mining fields and the 12 mining levels at the depth from 322 to 625 meters below sea level (m.b.s.l.). It is planned to maintain the mining activity till 2052 and extend rock salt extraction to deeper levels. The dome is characterised by complex geological structure resulted from halokinetic and tectonic processes.

Projection of the 3D numerical analysis took into account the following factors: mine working distribution within the Kłodawa mine (about 1000 rooms, 350 km of galleries), complex geological structure of the salt dome, complicated structure and geometry of mine workings and distinction in rocks mechanical properties e.g. rock salt and anhydrite. Analysis of past mine workings deformation and prediction of future rock mass behaviour was divided into four stages: building of the 3D model (state of mine workings in year 2014), model extension of the future mine workings planned for extraction in years 2015-2052, the 3D model calibration and stability analysis of all mine workings.

The 3D numerical model of Kłodawa salt mine included extracted and planned mine workings in 7 mining fields and 14 mining levels (about 2000 mine workings). The dimensions of the model were 4200 m × 4700 m × 1200 m what was simulated by 33 million elements. The 3D model was calibrated on the grounds of convergence measurements and laboratory tests. Stability assessment of mine workings was based on analysis of the strength/stress ratio and vertical stress. The strength/stress ratio analysis enabled to indicate endangered area in mine workings and can be defined as the factor of safety. Mine workings in state close to collapse are indicated by the strength/stress ratio equals 1. Analysis of the vertical stress in mine workings produced the estimation of current state of stress in comparison to initial (pre-mining) conditions.

The long-term deformation analysis of the Kłodawa salt mine for year 2014 revealed that stability conditions were fulfilled. Local disturbances indicated in the numerical analysis were connected with high chambers included in the mining field no 1 and complex geological structure in the vicinity of mine workings located in the mining fields no 2 and 3. Moreover, numerical simulations that projected the future extraction progress (till year 2052) showed positive performance. Local weakness zones in the mining field no 7 are associated with occurrence of carnallite layers and intensive mining which are planned in the mining field no 6 at the end of rock salt extraction.