Department of Mining & Minerals Engineering

Geomechanics Observation & Imaging

Purpose:
To use passive seismic imaging to further our understanding of stress states in rock masses to help improve safety and efficiency for engineering applications.

Methods:
Tomography is a method of producing a three dimensional image of the internal structures of a solid object by analyzing the velocity of energy waves through the body. 
Most notably used in the medical field for CT (Computed Tomography) scans, tomography can also be used to image the state of stress in a rock mass.  Using naturally occurring or artificially induced seismic events, the stress state can be inferred from the velocity change in seismic waves through the rock mass.  This inferred stress state can be used to predict rock mass failure or to image unique geologic features such as the presence of reservoir fluids.