The Role of Instrumentation in Ongoing Geotechnical Investigation
The goal of geotechnical investigations is to collect data about the physical properties and status of soil and rock formations.
Properly performed geotechnical investigations are vital to ensure that mining operations are conducted in a safe and productive manner. Sudden changes in the status of soil or rock (e.g. settling or rock falls) can lead to the collapse of shafts or tunnels within a mine.
Geotechnical investigations relevant to mining activities fall into two broad categories:
- Initial Geotechnical Investigation – Performed before a mine is established, or before a new shaft or tunnel is added to an existing mine. This is done to make sure that mining in a particular area is safe, feasible and economically viable. A large part of this type of investigation consists of collecting and analyzing core samples.
- Ongoing Geotechnical Investigation (Monitoring) – Performed on a regular or continuous basis to make sure that the ground in and around a mine remains stable. Collecting and testing of core samples may form part of an ongoing monitoring program, but it is also necessary to have other types of data easily available, in real time if possible.
The geotechnical instrumentation products designed and manufactured by Mine Design Technologies (MDT) are ideal for monitoring the ground inside a mine and helping to prevent collapses that threaten the safety of mine personnel, cause damage to mine equipment and lead to lost productivity while repairs are made.
Some of our key products have been designed to monitor these critical geotechnical stability factors, for example:
- Displacement (multiple points) – SMART MPBX (extension), SMART Contractometer (compression) and SMART Cable Bolt (extension, strain and load).
- Displacement (single point)– SMART GMM100 Ground Movement Monitor
- Convergence – SMART Contractometer, Measurand Shape-Accel-Array
- Caving (Sloughing) – MDT Sloughmeter