Noise-based body-wave seismic tomography in an active underground mine.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 2:40 PM
Gerrit Olivier1,2, Florent Brenguier1, Michel Campillo1, Richard Lynch2 and Philippe Roux1, (1)Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble, Grenoble, France, (2)Institute of Mine Seismology, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Over the last decade, ambient noise tomography has become increasingly popular to image the earth's upper crust. The seismic noise recorded in the earth's crust is dominated by surface waves emanating from the interaction of the ocean with the solid earth. These surface waves are low frequency in nature ( < 1 Hz) and not usable for imaging smaller structures associated with mining or oil and gas applications. The seismic noise recorded at higher frequencies are typically from anthropogenic sources, which are short lived, spatially unstable and not well suited for constructing seismic Green's functions between sensors with conventional cross-correlation methods.

To examine the use of ambient noise tomography for smaller scale applications, continuous data were recorded for 5 months in an active underground mine in Sweden located more than 1km below surface with 18 high frequency seismic sensors. A wide variety of broadband (10 – 3000 Hz) seismic noise sources are present in an active underground mine ranging from drilling, scraping, trucks, ore crushers and ventilation fans. Some of these sources generate favorable seismic noise, while others are peaked in frequency and not usable.

In this presentation, I will show that the noise generated by mining activity can be useful if periods of seismic noise are carefully selected. Although noise sources are not temporally stable and not evenly distributed around the sensor array, good estimates of the seismic Green's functions between sensors can be retrieved for a broad frequency range (20 – 400 Hz) when a selective stacking scheme is used.

For frequencies below 100 Hz, the reconstructed Green's functions show clear body-wave arrivals for almost all of the 153 sensor pairs. The arrival times of these body-waves are picked and used to image the local velocity structure. The resulting 3-dimensional image shows a high velocity structure that overlaps with a known ore-body. The material properties of the ore-body differ from the host rock and is likely the cause of the observed high velocity structure. For frequencies above 200 Hz, the seismic waves are multiply scattered by the tunnels and excavations and used to determine the scattering properties of the medium.

The results of this study should be useful for future imaging and exploration projects in mining and oil and gas industries.