Engineering geology in mining
Published:January 01, 2016
Cenozoic age detrital sequences in the Pilbara region of Western Australia are becoming a focus for engineering geological and hydrogeological investigations with an increasing number of final open-pit walls developed in these materials for iron ore mining. Historically, detrital sequences were classified chronostratigraphically. However, within each chronostratigraphic unit exist sub-units of variable engineering geological and hydrogeological character. As the majority of drill-hole data from Pilbara iron ore mines is derived from reverse circulation techniques, a methodology to identify the engineering geological units through downhole geophysics and geochemical assays was required to progress model development to the level of detail required for geotechnical and hydrogeological studies. The methodology entails a review of cored hole data and use of twin holes to assess the typical geochemical and geophysical signatures of units identified. Improved interpretation of reverse circulation drill-holes has resulted in the development of detailed 3D engineering geological models, which have improved the understanding of geological variability and engineering properties for geotechnical and hydrogeological studies.
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Developments in Engineering Geology
Developments in Engineering Geology is a showcase of the diversity in the science and practice of engineering geology. All branches of geology are applicable to solving engineering problems and this presents a wide frontier of scientific opportunity to engineering geology. In practice, diversity represents a different set of challenges with the distinctive character of the profession derived from the crossover between the disciplines of geology and engineering. This book emphasizes the importance of understanding the geological science behind the engineering behaviour of a soil or rock. It also highlights a continuing expansion in the practice areas of engineering geology and illustrates how this is opening new frontiers to the profession thereby introducing new knowledge and technology across a range of applications. This is initiating an evolution in the way geology is modelled in engineering, geohazard and environmental studies in modern and traditional areas of engineering geology.