oa Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy - Estimation of cave geometry using a constrained velocity model inversion with passive seismic data

Volume 107, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0038-223X



Careful monitoring of the position of the cave front is essential for well-managed block cave mining. Seismic monitoring systems yield 3-D information about the location of fracturing ahead of the cave. However, because the aseismic gap between cave surface and seismogenic zone is of unknown extent, the cluster of microseismicity can only yield an upper bound for the cave height. The large velocity contrast between the fractured rock in the aseismic gap and the broken loose material within the cave can be used by an inversion procedure to find a few simple geometric parameters (such as height of the top of the cave) if a simple 3-D shape�for example a paraboloid�is assumed for the cave. Ray-tracing must be used as the large velocity contrasts cause seismic waves to bend around the cave, but the inversion takes the form of a minimization problem in only a few dimensions and so the computational time is feasible. This technique has been successfully tested on realistic synthetic data.

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