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Abstract

The underground mining of coal deposits in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (GZW) re-sults in an imbalance in the distribution of the stress in the rock mass, both in the immediate and distant surroundings of mining excavations. The occurrence of seismic tremors, among others, is the consequence of this process,. The intensities of seismic phenomena, which occur in several regions of the GZW (Bytomian Basin, Main Saddle, Main Basin, Kazimierzowska Basin, and the Jejkowice Basin) are very diverse, ranging from tremors unrecognizable by humans to strong tremors of the nature of weak earthquakes (Patyńska and Stec 2017). During the period of 15 years, i.e. from 2001 to 2015, the level of seismic activity changed and de-pended on both the intensity of the excavation work and the variability of the lithological and tectonic structures. On the other hand, the seismic activity analysis has shown that in recent years, despite a decrease in total output, seismic activity and rockburst hazard have increased. One of the rea-sons was the increase in mining output. Almost half of the output came from coal seams under the rockburst hazard. This resulted in an increase in the number of great energy tremors with the energy of 107, 108 and 109 J. It has been shown that the amount of energy tremors has a high impact on the level of the rockburst hazard. Between 2001 and 2015, as many as 20 rockburst were caused by seismic tremors above 107 J with 42 total phenomena (Patyńska 2002–2016). The purpose of characterizing the causes of this phenomenon was determined by the parameters characterizing the structure of the rock mass in places where the rockburst was recorded.
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Abstract

The current rockburst hazard conditions in the copper mines are the consequence of mining-induced seismicity of the rock strata whilst the majority of registered rockbursts have been caused by high-energy seismic events. T he analysis of seismic activity in recent years indicates that the region of the Rudna mine is the region of the highest seismic activity. This paper is an attempt at evaluating the seismicity levels in the Rudna mine in the period from 2006-2015, within the entire mine and in its particular sections. Key parameters of seismic activity include the number of registered seismic events, total energy emission levels, and a unit energy factor. The variability of Gutenberg -Richter (GR) parameters are analyzed and the epicenters’ locations are investigated with respect to the stope position. T he distinction is made between low-energy (103 ≤ As < 105 J) and high-energy (As ≥ 105J) seismic events ahead of the stope, in the opening-up cross-throughs and in the gob areas. It appears that the risk level of a high-energy event occurrence in the R udna mine has not changed in recent years and has remained on a high level whilst the differences in seismic activity, in particular mine sections, are attributed to the varied extraction height and varied thickness of rockburst-prone carbonate layers in the roof of the copper ore deposit. The analysis of the epicenters’ locations with respect to the stope reveals that no matter what the seismic energy levels, the largest number of rockbursts are registered in the opening-up cross-through zone. Low-energy tremors are mostly located in the gob areas, high-energy events occur mostly ahead of the stope. T hus, the evaluation of the seismicity conditions in the Rudna mine seems to positively verify the relationship between the number of registered events and the levels of generated seismic energy, taking the local geological and mining conditions and the specificity of the room and pillar mining method into account.
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