Open Pit Slope Hazard Assessment using Smart Sensing Technology

Project: FDCRGP

Project Details

Grant Program

Faculty Development Competitive Research Grants Program 2022-2024

Project Description

The primary goal of research related to open pit mines has always been to ensure safe and economical operation in all mining conditions. As mentioned previously, the stability of slopes in open pit mines is an issue of great concern because of the significant detrimental consequences of slope instabilities. The technology implementation potential for slope deformation monitoring system has not yet been fully unleashed at mining sites. For example, the novel developments in smart sensing make the sensor-based information a valuable source for understanding rock mass behavior and its influence on slope stability. Novel smart sensors can be used to acquire subsurface data in a form that has not been possible before. A monitoring system consisting of an array of intelligent sensors can obtain and combine the time and rock displacement data. This has an advantage that circumvents the limitations of traditional instrumentation. These data can provide new insight into rock mass behavior due to the unique sensing characteristics. The understanding of in-situ pit deformation data can lead to the evaluation of possible slope failure before any slope movement is detected on the surface. The deformation analysis is a foundation for risk assessment that can predict the slope failure.
Stability assessment for open pit designs depends on the use of adequate methods and data interpretation but is highly dependent on the designers' subjective analysis, introducing uncertainty. It is also affected by the accuracy of the measurements, density of the data, and metal deposition complexity, among others. Therefore, the determination of whether a certain design is stable requires the management of uncertainty levels while maintaining low risk levels of slope failures. And finding an alternative that can predict the risk of failure is crucial. Thus, this study is focusing on applying novel smart technology (smart wireless sensors) to properly interpret the risk of slope stability. The new sensors have the potential to detect in-ground deformation and its direction in a way that was not feasible by the previous methods. However, this technology requires further investigation before it can be widely applied in mining operations.
Effective start/end date1/1/2211/11/22


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