Investigating mechanical and geometrical effects of joints on minimum caving span in mass caving method

Document Type : Research Paper


School of Mining Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



This paper investigates the effect of jointed rock mass properties on the Minimum Required Caving Span (MRCS) in the block caving method using numeric and heuristic approaches. To do so, the effects of five parameters of jointed rock mass, namely joint set number, joint spacing, joint inclination angle, joint surface friction angle, and undercut depth on MRCS, were investigated using a discrete element code. For this purpose, many numerical models were generated with various rock mass parameters. Moreover, Gene Expression Programming and Artificial Neural Networks were employed to create a heuristic model for MRCS. The model parameters were subjected to sensitivity analysis. All model input parameters showed sensitivity to the model. There are several effective parameters on MRCS, but joint dip and joint set numbers are the most important and the smallest.


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