Inelastic deformation of the rock near the edges of the thin tabular excavations (stopes) of deep-level mines sometimes occurs violently, resulting in a seismic event. These seismic events are produced in the highly-stressed rock near the edges of the stopes and appear to be the result of shear failure across a plane; these conclusions are based on seismic as well as underground observations.

The seismic events occurring near stopes can be described using a model based on the theory of dislocations; they result from two edge dislocations of opposite sign annihilating each other and releasing energy. The instantaneous convergence of the stope that is observed to occur at the time of a large mine tremor is compatible with the observed seismic energy of the tremor, according to analysis based on the dislocation model.

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