Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 265–276 | Cite as

Analysis of Rock Mass Stability Based on Mining-Induced Seismicity: A Case Study at the Hongtoushan Copper Mine in China

  • Jian-po LiuEmail author
  • Shi-da Xu
  • Yuan-hui Li
  • Gang Lei
Original Paper


In deep metal mines, seismic hazards (for example, rock bursts and roof collapses) occur easily due to the influence of complicated geological conditions, high-stress environments and strong blast disturbances. A microseismic (MS) monitoring technique was used to evaluate rock mass stability in the Hongtoushan copper mine in China. The changes in the multiple MS parameters, including the apparent volume, energy index, spatial correlation length, fractal dimension and b value, during the mining process were presented. The results showed that the MS sequences decayed following Omori’s power-law and that the rock mass returned to a relatively stable state after approximately 20 days of blasting. After each stoping, the proportion of large-scale fractures increased, the MS events become more concentrated, and the long-range correlations of the rock mass weakened. These changes caused b value, fractal characteristics and spatial correlation length to decrease significantly. Although the risk of a large-scale rock mass failure was reduced, the risk of a local failure increased. As the mining process continued, stress and deformation gradually increased, and the areas with concentrated stress and large deformation were not consistent. Control measures for hazards should be implemented according to the corresponding occurrence mechanisms as determined from the differences in the rock mass physics mechanics.


Microseismic (MS) monitoring Energy index Apparent volume Spatial correlation length Fractal dimension b value 

List of symbols


Number of aftershocks

A, p, c

Constants in Omori’s formula

a, b

Constants in G–R relationship


Number of earthquakes




Fractal dimension


Spatial correlation length


Side length of cube


Number of non-empty cubes


Power-law fitting parameter


Radiated seismic energy


Energy index


Apparent stress


Shear modulus of rock mass


Apparent volume


Seismic potency


Seismic moment

\(\overline {E} ({M_0})\)

Average energy



This work was financially supported by the State Key Research Development Program of China (2017YFC0602904, 2016YFC0801605), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (N150104004), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project (2017M612302) and the Postdoctoral Creative Funding of Shangdong Province.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian-po Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shi-da Xu
    • 1
  • Yuan-hui Li
    • 1
  • Gang Lei
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education on Safe Mining of Deep Metal MinesNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.Shandong Gold Group Co., Ltd.JinanChina

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