World Mining Congress
Knowledge of the state of stress in the Earth’s crust is very important to the safe and efficient development of underground excavations in mining and civil engineering projects. A number of methods have been developed over the past 40 years to assess the stress field in the rock mass. These range from local estimates derived from compilation of regional stress databases to back-analysis of field observations to dedicated in situ measurements. The Geomechanics Research Centre (GRC) at MIRARCO has a long history of undertaking in situ stress characterization and measurement. In this paper, the stress measurement techniques used by the GRC, including overcoring and undercoring in addition to borehole breakout back-analysis, are briefly reviewed. The limitations and application of each technique for different ground conditions and the challenges involved during the field work and in interpretation of the results are discussed. A successful stress measurement campaign is not limited to acquiring valid local measurement, but must include a careful interpretation and integration of the measurement with other geological and geotechnical context information. Based on our experience, it is suggested that all available stress indicators and data are combined and integrated with the local geological and geomechanical conditions to derive a consistent stress characterization for a given site.
Keywords: stress; Boreholes; Rock; Rocks; excavation; Overcoring; mining; Failure; failures;
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