Geotechnical Investigation of Fracture Patterns in a Rock Mass during Excavation by Blasting

Felix Oppong • Isaac Ahenkorah • Dominic Cudjoe Asebiah • Dominic Barimah Osei


Overcharging in rocks (wall faces) during blasting and excavation usually causes damage to rock mass in most mining and quarry industries. This creates blast-induced fractures which can relates with pre-existing fracture pattern thereby increasing sliding and rockfall from the crest and body of an excavated wall. The spacing and orientation of pre-existing fractures are predominant at a small-scale mining (galamsey) site at ‘Atta ne Atta', a town near Beposo, in the Western Region of Ghana. Geotechnical field studies were carried out to investigate the possibility of any instability within the area to eradicate the occurrence of an unexpected future wall failure (rockfall). The geotechnical mapping conducted was focused on fracture distribution and spacing. Mean spacing (Sm) of existing fractures was calculated and corrections were made to obtain calculated spacing (Sc). The scanlines of wall face 001 and wall face 002 intersect with their corresponding strike and dip at 78° and 80° respectively creating a slightly favourable fracture pattern and rock wall stability. The fracture pattern created at Wall Face 003 and Wall Face 004 were unfavourable for rock stability with their corresponding scanlines having a strike and sip of 67° and 73° respectively. The instability of these wall faces (003 and 004) is as a result of parallel orientation of the induced fractures to the strike of the pre-existing fractures. Observations made from the stereographic projections and rose diagram indicate a cluster of fracture patterns with a general strike of NNE-SSW. Hence, the fracture patterns in the study area are composed of favourable (stable) rock mass at some walls and unfavourable (unstable) rock mass at other wall faces due to overcharging of blast holes.




International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science

The International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science (IJAERS) is an engineering... see more