Drift support in burst-prone ground
The Geomechanics Research Centre at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada, has undertaken a five-year research program into the design of support appropriate for controlling damage caused by rockbursts. Rockburst damage mechanisms in Canadian hardrock mines are reviewed and a support design approach is presented. Each element in a support system performs a reinforcing, holding, or retaining function. The desirable load-displacement characteristics for elements in burst-resistant support systems are described, and recommended support systems are presented for a spectrum of rockburst conditions ranging from minor to severe. A support system can be designed to (a) prevent the triggering of a ground fall or a rockburst; (b) deform to accommodate the large imposed deformations arising from a rockburst; or (c) absorb the kinetic energy contained in ejected blocks of rock.
Paper reviewed and approved for publication by the Rock Mechanics and Strata Control Committee of CIM.