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A unique seismic monitoring system is being used at the Boron open pit mine to aid in the early detection of potential slope stability problems. The system was developed in a joint venture between U.S.BORAX and the U. S. Bureau of Mines. The main components of the system are a bore-hole geophone or electromechanical transducer, an amplifier, and a strip-chart recorder. The subaudible rock noises caused by minute readjustments of the rock in the slope during mining are recorded. Stable slopes have a low seismic noise level whereas a high noise level indicates a potentially unstable slope before there is any physical evidence of slope failure. The disturbances generally increase in number and magnitude as slope stability decreases. The same technique also is used to determi e the effectiveness of corrective action.
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