Model testing

Laboratory of Rock Deformation

The main research area include prognostication of underground mining impacts to minimise its negative environmental effects on the surface.

The prognostication procedure uses the following:

  • theoretical solutions yielding the mathematical descriptions of studied phenomena,
  • model testing done on a loose medium allowing the observation of the process,
  • measurement data from mines.

Model testing is done with the use of unique devices to capture various aspects of mining operations. Testing is done in a loose medium (sand, ballotini) in which the distribution of exerted impacts is similar to that occurring in the rock strata, in both cases approaching the normal distribution. This distribution underpins the theoretical considerations of the mining impacts.

Modelling of medium displacement in model boxes offers us a good insight into the following aspects of mining operations:

  • impacts of underground mining on the surface and surface features, residential and industrial structures, infrastructure, roads, highways and others,
  • tectonic phenomena (discontinuities and their impacts on surface structures),
  • geotechnics (stability of slopes).

Measurement data from mines were utilised to establish the relationship between dynamic deformation rates and damage to surface structures caused by mining activities. It was recommended that the existing Classification of Mine Area Protection should be supplemented to incorporate dynamic strain indicators, particularly the weekly subsidence increment.

Geodetic and land surveying methods (GPS, electronic tachometers) supported by extensometer and model testing were applied to determining the impacts of periodic interruption of the underground face operations on the ground surface.

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