Development of a 3D structural model of a mine by consolidating different data sources

  • M. MoralesEmail author
  • K. K. Panthi
  • K. Botsialas
  • K. H. Holmøy
Original Article


Joints and faults are inherent parts of the rock mass. In the vast majority of mining slopes, discontinuity structures play an important role in slope stability and may trigger a slope failure. The most important step in understanding the slope failure mechanism is to have a reliable model, which shows how all the discontinuity sets are constituted in the rock mass and how they interact with each other. However, building a fracture model is not a straightforward process, since it needs to combine discontinuity information from a variety of sources, such as detailed slope mapping, borehole logging data and remote sensing technologies. Hence, this manuscript attempts to develop a comprehensive structural model of the complete mine area in an open pit, which is the biggest in Norway with respect to its depth and area of coverage. The manuscript demonstrates on how it is possible to consolidate information from different sources in order to identify typical orientation of the detailed fractures that are associated with the main structural lineaments. The process involves analysis of different sources of data in order to correlate this information into useful evidence about the orientation of the fracture systems in terms of dip and dip direction. Further, the mine is divided into different structural domains and a 3D structural model is developed. As an end result, the domains are kinematically tested with respect to different types of failure modes in both overall slope and bench slope scale of the mine for both a hanging wall and foot wall. It is highlighted here that the results presented in this manuscript are the part of the research project called “Decisive Parameters for Open Pit Slopes (DePOPS)”.


Slope stability Rock mechanics Structural model Mining slope Mining geotechnics 



The present research is supported by the mining company TITANIA AS and the Research Council of Norway (NFR). The authors are grateful to the management of TITANIA AS for allowing us to use data of the mine and research outcome to be published in this journal. The authors are also grateful to other persons such as Balasz Riglar from Ruden AS for the borehole inspection, Javier Macias and Nghia Trinh at SINTEF for developing the structural database of the boreholes, and Giovanni Gigli and Paolo Farina from GeoApp for providing the LiDAR scanning survey. The authors are grateful for NFR and the management of TITANIA AS for providing the research grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  2. 2.TITANIA ASHauge i DalaneNorway
  3. 3.SINTEF Building and InfrastructureTrondheimNorway

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