August 2021
Volume 73    Issue 8

Monitoring of multiple-level stress interaction at two underground limestone mines

Slaker, Brent; Murphy, Michael; Rashed, Gamal; Gangrade, Vasu; Van Dyke, Mark; Minoski, Todd; Floyd, Kristin


Underground stone mines frequently operate on multiple mining horizons or are required to undermine or overmine old workings. In these situations, the effects of pillar columnization and interburden thickness on the stresses surrounding mine workings are poorly understood. Many old workings were not designed to consider the effect on future undermining or overmining and, as a result, are laid out on irregular patterns and with pillar sizes that are difficult or impossible to replicate on adjacent levels. Additionally, as depth increases, even a consistent gridded mine layout may result in poor columnization due to the need to increase pillar sizes. Rules of thumb and past practice for designing multiple levels may often be effective. This paper explores the effect that multiple-level stone mining has on stress redistribution through the discussion of two case-study mines and associated numerical modeling to provide additional insight into situations which may cause concern.

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2021) 38:623–633,



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