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Delineation of fault segments in mines using seismic sourcemechanisms and location uncertainty


Meyer, SG and Bassom, A and Reading, AM, Delineation of fault segments in mines using seismic sourcemechanisms and location uncertainty, Journal of Applied Geophysics, 170 Article 103828. ISSN 0926-9851 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jappgeo.2019.103828


The identification and quantification of faults or other geological discontinuities is an important task in managing seismic hazard in mines. Unstable slip along these faults may lead to seismic events with fatal or major economic consequences. Current approaches for delineating faults that are employed in mines rely on the interpretation of geological mapping. This mapping, however, may be sparse and can miss structures of potential concern. Clustering techniques are often used to associate seismic events to a common source process, but as previously used make no connection to the underlying physical processes.

The Expectation Maximisation Algorithm is used in this study to identify probabilistic kernels representing active segments of faults. This soft assignment clustering method describes the kernels according to the seismic source mechanism, location and location uncertainty of the microseismic events. The method is tested on synthetic data and real data from an underground mine with the aim to delineate a previously unknown structure. Results using synthetic data illustrate how the incorporation of the seismic source mechanism improves the association of events to kernels in the case of scattered events with large location uncertainty. Application of the method to the real data indicates that the results can be interpreted at different levels, a smaller number of kernels provides good and robust description of the overall seismic behaviour, while using more kernels can provide insight into local variations in the location and orientation of faults.

The resultant kernels have physical meaning in terms of the location and orientation of the structures. This provides geotechnical engineers at mines with improved tools to identify potentially hazardous areas in the mine and therefore manage these risks.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:microseismicity, clustering, induced seismicity, expectation maximisation, fault
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geophysics
Research Field:Seismology and seismic exploration
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Meyer, SG (Mr Stephen Meyer)
UTAS Author:Bassom, A (Professor Andrew Bassom)
UTAS Author:Reading, AM (Professor Anya Reading)
ID Code:135116
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2019-10-01
Last Modified:2020-05-20

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