ROCKBURST (2016 – 2019)

Predicting the behavior of rock mass is of paramount importance in tunneling and mining, as well as in earthquake prediction and geothermal energy utilization.

The 3-year project “Devastating micro cracks: researching spontaneous rock failure with rock mechanical testing, µCT, OBIA and geostatistics (ROCKBURST)” funded by FFG presents a multidisciplinary approach to research the influence of micromechanical and microstructural characteristics and their individual effect on rock failure. State-of-the art rock mechanical testing, data acquisition and simulation methods will be nested in an innovative work-flow: Following initial mineralogical investigations, artificial and natural rock samples will be each be subject to cycles of destruction-free microstructure analysis and compression testing. From each cycle, Micro-computed tomography (µCT) will provide 3D data on the sample’s micro-fabric before a successive step of uniaxial testing controlled by acoustic emission testing is carried out. From the resulting series of µCT data, Object-based Image Analysis (OBIA) will assemble a process (3D+t) model of microcrack evolution in each sample. Multiple-point geostatistics simulation, based on training images provided by OBIA, will be used to upscale OBIA results from sample scale to excavation scale.

Instrument: FFG – Bridge
Role: Partner
Partners: TU Graz, Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling; University of Salzburg, Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS; VEITSCH-Radex GmbH & Co OG; Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas, USA
Project volume: 378.000 EUR, ZGIS share: 115.000 EUR
Contact person: Fritz Zobl
Researchers involved: Peter Hofmann, Robert Marschallinger, Fritz Zobl