This new initiative of NRC Research Press and the Canadian Geotechnical Journal is a means of highlighting articles of particularly high caliber and topical importance.
It's Catrin Edelbro's article "Prediction and follow-up of failure and fall outs in footwall operating in the Kiirunavaara mine" chosen for this prestigious list. The stability of the Kiruna Vaara field locations have been studied continuously for a year and a half years to increase the understanding of rock behavior in relation to ore cut-off on stand. Towns stability will be a crucial factor in breaking the ore deeper into the rock mass.
A likely result of changes in rock stresses due to progressing mining is an increased number of compressive stress–induced failures. This paper presents the results from numerical analysis and observations of stress-induced fallouts in footwall drifts in the Kiirunavaara underground mine. A brittle-plastic “cohesion-softening friction-hardening” (CSFH) material model was used for simulating brittle fallouts. To account for mining-induced stress changes, the local model stress boundary conditions were extracted from a global model. The rock mass properties were based on field observations in the footwall drifts as well as on results from laboratory testing. A multi-stage analysis was carried out to gradually change the stresses to simulate mining progress. A parametric study was conducted in which strength properties, location, and shape of the footwall drift were varied. Yielded elements and maximum shear strain were used as damage and fallout indicators. The modelling results were sensitive to the shape of the drift. The location of the predicted fallouts was in good agreement with the location of observed fallouts for the case in which the drift roof was simulated flatter than the theoretical cross section. The results indicate that the true shape of the drift is different from the planned one.