Evaluation of Blasting-Induced Ground Vibrations on Highwall Stability


Highwall miners continue to be implemented by operations to increase recovery, improve margins, and justify higher stripping ratios as high quality surface reserves become increasingly rare. Many times, operations facilitate projected underground operations by leaving an intact highwall for development purposes. These facts result in larger highwalls that are left standing for increased periods of time prior to reclamation. As a consequence, worker exposure and risk is also elevated, resulting in higher potential for accidents or fatalities relating to surface highwalls. Highwall stability is a complex issue, dependent on both geologic and mining factors. Dynamic numerical modeling offers the capability to assess possible stability issues related to blasting-induced ground vibrations. Research has been conducted to evaluate the effect of highwall stability due to ground vibrations from blasting events. Additionally, the relationship of amplitude and frequency, and their impact on highwall stability is investigated. The results of this modeling indicate that amplitude has little impact on stability. However, frequency has a significant impact on highwall stability.

Meeting Name

SME Annual Conference and Expo 2017: Creating Value in a Cyclical Environment (2017: Feb. 19-22, Denver, CO)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Blasting; Dynamic numerical modeling; Ground vibration; High quality surface; Highwall; Stability issues; Stripping ratio; Underground operations; Worker exposure; Stability

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2017 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2017