Stability analysis of underground mining openings with complex geometry

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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.

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