A Tensile Model for the Interpretation of Microseismic Events near Underground Openings
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—For small-scale microseismic events, the source sizes provided by shear models are unrealistically large when compared to visual observations of rock fractures near underground openings. A detailed analysis of the energy components in data from a mine-by experiment and from some mines showed that there is a depletion of S-wave energy for events close to the excavations, indicating that tensile cracking is the dominant mechanism in these microseismic events.¶In the present study, a method is proposed to estimate the fracture size from microseismic measurements. The method assumes tensile cracking as the dominant fracture mechanism for brittle rocks under compressive loads and relates the fracture size to the measured microseismic energy. With the proposed method, more meaningful physical fracture sizes can be obtained and this is demonstrated by an example on data from an underground excavation with detailed, high-quality microseismic records.
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