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Analysis of acoustic emissions recorded during a mine-by experiment in an underground research laboratory in clay shales

Abstract : During a mine-by experiment performed at the Mont Terri Underground Research Laboratory located at the transition between the sandy and the shaly facies of the Opalinus Clay formation, excavation induced micro-acoustic events were recorded in the so-called Gallery 08 (the EZ-G experiment). A first cluster of events occurred in the vicinity of the eastern sidewall of Gallery 08, and a second cluster was observed ahead of the advancing tunnel face. For each recorded micro-acoustic event (AE), all located in the sandy facies of the Opalinus Clay formation, the total stresses associated with the onset of inelastic deformations were estimated using a three-dimensional numerical model. The numerical analysis is based on the assumption that the rock mass behavior in the vicinity of the excavation is essentially elastic before the stress redistribution causes damage evidenced by the triggered AE activity. For the cluster located at the tunnel sidewall, the source mechanism analysis reveals the predominance of extensional failure (tensile) events. The numerical analysis of each individual micro-acoustic event suggests that the differential stresses at the onset of damage range between 3 and 10 MPa. These values are in reasonable agreement with crack initiation thresholds obtained in the laboratory from samples of the various sub-facies types of the sandy facies in the Opalinus Clay formation, which range between 2 and 18 MPa. For the cluster located ahead of the tunnel face, the source mechanism analysis indicates the predominance of local shear failure events. This is consistent with observed shear dislocations on bedding planes within weak beds in the sandy facies that have similar strength properties as the shaly facies. Thus, the modelled shear and total normal stresses acting across the average bedding plane orientation at each event location were modelled and used to estimate the in situ shear strength along the bedding planes. The model suggests a friction angle of 33.4° and a cohesion of 0.43 MPa. The results are overall consistent with the bedding plane strength obtained through undrained direct shear tests on specimens of the shaly facies, suggesting that the observed weak beds with a strength similar to the shaly facies govern the behavior at the tunnel face.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 8:57:51 AM
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Florian Amann, Yves Le Gonidec, Montse Senis, Sophie Gschwind, Jérôme Wassermann, et al.. Analysis of acoustic emissions recorded during a mine-by experiment in an underground research laboratory in clay shales. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, Pergamon and Elsevier, 2018, 106, pp.51-59. ⟨10.1016/j.ijrmms.2018.04.021⟩. ⟨insu-01777669⟩



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