Technical Papers

Use of a Finite Element Code to Model Complex Mine Water Problems

Abstract:

Numerical models are now used routinely to predict ground-water inflows to both surface and underground mines and to help design dewatering systems. Two of the more complex problems encountered in mine dewatering are 1) predicting the configuration of the phreatic surface and height of the seepage face in pit highwalls for slope stability analysis and 2) predicting inflow to underground mines, particularly from discrete geologic structures and under non-Darcian flow. Frustrated by the limitations of the most common ground-water flow codes in dealing with these problems, we have developed a 3-dimensional, finite element code, designated MINEDW, that has been specially designed to address the relatively unique hydrologic complexities of mining.

MINEDW includes subroutines to calculate the height of the seepage face in a pit wall, to simulate faults without adding more discretization, and to simulate non-Darcian flow and the transition to Darcian flow as heads and gradients decrease. Examples of MINDEW solutions to relatively idealized problems are given and compared to those from physical models, analytical solutions, and another numerical code (MODFLOW).

MINEDW has been applied to a large mining operation in Indonesia involving dewatering of both a large pit and underground drifts. This case has been made even more challenging by karstic features and very high, but variable (particularly as demonstrated by a recent El Niño-induced drought) precipitation. How the hydrogeology was conceptualized and incorporated into the numerical model, how the mine plans and variable precipitation were simulated, and the results of the calibration and predictive simulations are described.

Citation:

Azrag, E., V.I. Ugorets, and L.C. Atkinson. 1998. Use of a finite element code to model complex mine water problems. Proceedings of Symposium on Mine Water and Environmental Impacts, International Mine Water Association, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1 September: pp. 31-41.

Authors:

Houmao Liu

Jianwei Xiang

Link to Full Text:

Addressing Complex Mine-Water Problems.pdf

Latest News
  • Learn More About the Policies We're Updating We’re making updates to our End-User License Agreement, Website Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy....
    Read More
  • New ICG General Manager Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that Dr. Tryana Garza-Cruz is now our...
    Read More
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Response In this exceptional time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Itasca International and its offices worldwide are...
    Read More

Upcoming Events
16 Apr
From Waveforms to Seismic Events: Seismic Data Processing Using InSite Seismic Processing Software.
... Read More
20 Apr
3DEC and UDEC Introductory Training, CANCELED
An introduction to UDEC and 3DEC for application to geotechnical analysis.... Read More
26 Apr
2020 SMRI Conference - CANCELED
The Solution Mining Research Institute (SMRI) is a research and educational organization focused on solution mining. SMRI views solutio... Read More