The nature of fracturing and stress distribution in quartzite around the 1128-M (3700-FT) level of the crescent mine, Coeur d'Alene mining district, Idaho

Engineering Geology

DOI: 10.1016/0013-7952(80)90021-6



Silver and copper are the principal ores mined from the quartzite at the Crescent mine. Both the main ore-bearing veins and foliation in the quartzite are parallel to the nearly vertical formational contacts. Anisotropy of the quartzite is indicated by both dynamic and static tests. Disking and breakage of core from holes perpendicular to the foliation are about twice what they are in core from holes parallel to foliation. Natural cleavage as well as slabbing and blasting fractures around the tunnels are also controlled by the foliation. Extensive overcore deformation measurements indicate that most of the influence of the tunnels on the "free" stress field is between the rib and a depth of 2.7 m (1 tunnel diameter). The maximum principal stress axis in the free field is nearly horizontal; its magnitude is not much greater than the vertical component and calculations indicate a nearly hydrostatic free stress field. Stress considerably greater than the free field was measured between about 0.3-2.7 m behind the rib and is caused by a transfer of load from above the tunnel opening. Peak stress is in the vertical direction and about 1.7 m behind the rib. An air-injection survey shows that high permeabilities are confined to the highly fractured annulus around a tunnel to a depth of at least 0.6 m. Air-injection measurements could be taken in the interval of about 0.6-1.8 m, but more fractures with high permeabilities may also be present in the annulus from about 0.6-1.2 m. Permeabilities measured deeper than about 1.8 m by the air-injection technique are either very low or nonexistent. The absence of open and noncontinuous fractures beyond about 1.8 m is also indicated by very low porosities and permeabilities of core, very high stresses (which presumably would close fractures), the lack of stains or secondary fillings in disking fractures, a conspicuous lack of ground water in the tunnels, and the fact that fractures encountered in an experimental 0.9-m tunnel did not extend into the 1.8-m tunnel that was mined over it. Air-injection techniques exceed the accuracy of any field deformation measurement now in use, and they are sensitive to permeabilities as small as one microdarcy and to fracture widths as small as 250 nanometers. This technique was applied for future reference in mining design and, perhaps, to be used later to detect microfracturing prior to rockbursts. ?? 1980 Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company.

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The nature of fracturing and stress distribution in quartzite around the 1128-M (3700-FT) level of the crescent mine, Coeur d'Alene mining district, Idaho
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Engineering Geology
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