Abstract

Cross-borehole data were acquired in the surface crown pillar of a massive sulfide ore mine. The data consist of five, two-dimensional (2-D), cross-borehole panels, each with approximately 900 source-receiver pairs. The panels were located within the crown pillar at either side of and within a major subvertical fault zone that intersects the orebody. An initial analysis of the data indicates that the bedrock containing the orebody is seismically anisotropic.A rigorous analysis of the traveltimes using anisotropic velocity tomography confirms the initial assessment that anisotropy exists within the crown pillar rock mass. Anisotropic velocity tomography is the generalization of tomographic methods to anisotropic media. As in any geophysical problem, the data are insufficient to completely resolve the distributions of the rock properties at all scale lengths; we use external constraints on the roughness of the final solution to ensure an algebraically well-posed problem. Plots of the data residuals (the 'traveltime surfaces') are an essential tool in determining an optimal level of constraint. Of equal importance are plots of the relationship between the solution roughness and the rms level of the residuals.The final results of anisotropic velocity tomography are a set of images (tomograms) of the velocity and selected anisotropy parameters for the five panels. Our images do not contain the distortions typically exhibited when using isotropic tomography in anisotropic media. The velocity tomograms clearly show the geometry of the overburden contact at the top of the bedrock. The anisotropy tomograms show a decrease in anisotropy with depth on two of the panels. They also show a decrease in anisotropy with proximity to the fault zone. These features of the seismic velocity anisotropy are consistent with observations of fracture orientation and distribution. The results of the crosshole data interpretation contribute to the overall site investigation and provide a reliable interrogation of the bulk properties of the rock mass.

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