Since 1987, nearly 10% of all accidents and 50% of the casualties in Qu6bec's mines are related to rock falls. These instabilities are generally preceded by block movements, which, if detected, allow taking preventive actions. In the paper, the potential use of high-resolution digital cameras for the detection of rock block movement is presented. The methodology allowing the comparison of images taken at different times and from slightly different viewpoints is described and preliminary results obtained in an underground environment are presented along with a discussion.


According to a report presented by the Association paritaire pour la santd et la sdcuritdu travail dans le secteur minier (1999), from 1987 to 1997, 19 deaths (over 50% of the casualties) and nearly 10% of compensated accidents in Qu6bec mines were related to rockfalls, most of them occurring during production activities. These rockfalls are generally preceded by rigid block movements which, if detected in time, allow to take preventive action (scaling or bolting).

The rapid development of inexpensive high resolution digital cameras and the availability of high performance digital image processing software opens new possibilities in the field of rock mass monitoring. In this paper, the potential use of digital imaging (image acquisition and processing) for the detection of rock movement in underground excavations is evaluated.

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