Geomechanics and mining research

In general terms, the department is concerned with acquiring, developing, and refining new knowledge about complex processes in the rock mass (RM). Such processes are related principally to human impacts, whether as a result of mining, targetted geotechnical interventions (e.g., in the field of underground construction, waste storage and other storage facilities), or even accompanying processes and characteristics of the THM (thermo-hydro-mechanical) type. Research activities in the field of geotechnical issues is focused on the detection and analysis of primary and induced distribution of RM stress fields in the vicinity of excavated underground structures in the construction process, and their use in terms of mechanical and functional stability during the life cycle of the work. Significant attention is paid to the evaluation of the level of safety in underground workplaces and the level of effectiveness of active and passive preventative measures used. In this respect, it is research with significant social relevance. Although mining and quarrying is dampened in the Czech Republic, the experience and knowledge of our researchers in dealing with safe operations in complicated geo-mechanical situations associated with great depth, are still in demand in the Czech Republic and in the world.

In the field of the utilization of X-ray imaging techniques, research of the character of the pore space has been on-going, especially with respect to its influence on the properties of the monitored material. Processes during the mechanical loading of samples and internal rock structure by computational micro-tomography, in combination with petrographic methods, are also studied.

Research in the field of geophysics is focused on the study of seismic activity in the Silesian-Polish border region, based on seismological observatory activity and on the definition of the seismic load at potential sites of deep geological repositories.

Application laboratory

Research directions

The aim is the determination of the spatial distribution, size, and orientation of natural and induced stress fields dependant on the geological and tectonic situation, anthropogenic activities in the massif, and the analysis of its manifestations. This research is aimed at:

  • Identifying the actual stress field in the rock mass and its changes by hydrofracturing and by using the conical gauge probes and gauge rock-bolts
  • Geomechanical monitoring, measuring the deformation of the underground spaces by 3D laser scaning, and the analysis of the stability conditions
  • The application of mathematical models in geomechanics and geotechnics, with an emphasis on examining the processes in rocks and soils from the engineering point of view
  • The influence of geological situation and anthropogenic activities on the ground motion
  • Dynamic geomechanical phenomena in the rock mass and methods of aimed influence on hazardous stress states in the massif (eg evaluation of the effectiveness of non-productive blasting work for stress decreasing)
  • Mining method of excavation of underground deposit
  • Determination of the quality of the massif (RQD, RMR, Q, ..)
  • Determination of specific properties of rock mass in-situ (for using on specific purposes of underground space)
  • Characterization and evaluation of EDZ properties around underground facilities
  • Mathematical 3D modelling of complex geomechanical situations
  • Research on natural seismicity – natural earthquakes
  • Research on mining-induced phenomena and technical seismicity
  • Research on seismic noise, its sources and properties
  • A study of deformations and the method of geomaterial faulting based on tbe construction, structure, and method of loading
  • A study of the flow of liquids and gases in the structure of materials in connection with the distribution of hydraulic properties and pore space
  • A study of the interaction of geomaterials during bolting, grouting, CO2 flow in materials, etc.
  • Other engineering applications include the spatial characterization of the composition and structure of geomaterials (the determination of porosity, grain size analysis and distribution in geomaterials, visualization of the internal structure
  • A description of the microstructure for the subsequent mathematical modelling of processes in the microstructure, and upscaling