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Minerals 2018, 8(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020052

Modelling Geotechnical Heterogeneities Using Geostatistical Simulation and Finite Differences Analysis

1
Department of Civil Engineering, ISISE, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
2
Department of Mining Engineering, University of Chile, Santiago 8370448, Chile
3
Advanced Mining Technology Centre, University of Chile, Santiago 8370448, Chile
4
Concrete Dams Department, National Laboratory of Civil Engineering, 1700-066 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Modelling)
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Abstract

Modelling a rock mass in an accurate and realistic way allows researchers to reduce the uncertainty associated with its characterisation and reproduce the intrinsic spatial variability and heterogeneities present in the rock mass. However, there is often a lack of a structured methodology to characterise heterogeneous rock masses using geotechnical information available from the prospection phase. This paper presents a characterization methodology based on the geostatistical simulation of geotechnical variables and the application of a scenario reduction technique aimed at selecting a reduced number of realisations able to statistically represent a large set of realisations obtained by the geostatistical approach. This type of information is useful for a further rock mass behaviour analysis. The methodology is applied to a gold deposit with the goal of understanding its main differences to traditional approaches based on a deterministic modelling of the rock mass. The obtained results show the suitability of the methodology to characterise heterogeneous rock masses, since there were considerable differences between the results of the proposed methodology, mainly concerning the theoretical tunnel displacements, and the ones obtained with a traditional approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D geological models; geotechnical modelling; geological heterogeneity; uncertainty assessment; mechanical behaviour analysis 3D geological models; geotechnical modelling; geological heterogeneity; uncertainty assessment; mechanical behaviour analysis
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Pinheiro, M.; Emery, X.; Miranda, T.; Lamas, L.; Espada, M. Modelling Geotechnical Heterogeneities Using Geostatistical Simulation and Finite Differences Analysis. Minerals 2018, 8, 52.

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