This study investigates the changes in seismic velocity of rockmass before and after three major seismic events to determine any potential identifiable precursory velocity changes associated with these events. Induced stress measurement is one of the challenging tasks in deep underground mining, with extreme impacts on the safety and stability of the mine. This study used p-wave passive seismic tomography to image the velocity redistribution within a rockmass, which can indicate induced stress level changes in the rockmass and detect the velocity changes that might precede a major seismic event or a rockburst. The ultimate goal of this research focus is to develop another tool for the deep-mining community that will help to increase safety and efficiency. For this purpose, the hypothesis of conventional mechanics, which implies induced stress at the hypocenter (as inferred by the p-wave velocity) increases until the seismic event occurs, is evaluated. It is found that the p-wave velocity did not increase at any of the three hypocenters prior to the seismic event occurring; however, the p-wave velocity did increase in the closest “zone center” for two of the three events.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2021) 38:413–426, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00327-1