Investigation of rockburst by combining testing methods

  • Lukas Gottsbacher (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk at conference or symposiumScience to science


The hazard of rockburst is an extremely dangerous type of failure, as it can occur very suddenly and is capable of releasing high amounts of energy. This is a high risk for the life of workers and the used equipment, therefore it is very important to fully understand rockburst and find methods to predict it.
By setting up a workflow to combine various types of laboratory tests, this hazard is investigated from different aspects to gain a better understanding of it. The different laboratory tests are Uniaxial Compression Tests, Acoustic Emission Test (AET), µCT scans and Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) of thin sections.

In the first step, a uniaxial compression test (UCT) and an Acoustic Emission Testing (AET) are performed simultaneously. To simulate a rock that is prone to rockburst, the UCT is stopped close to the failure of the test sample.

Subsequently µCT scans of the samples are created. Hereby the same technology is used, that hospitals apply for CT or CAT scans, but on a much smaller scale with a higher resolution. It can be described as 3D microscopy susceptible to mean atomic number. µCT is capable of imaging internal rock structures or cracks down to several microns in a non-destructive way. µCT scans are used to find the micro-cracks that are generated when the testing sample is put in a uniaxial compression test that stops close to the uniaxial compression strength (UCS).

In the last step, thin sections of the sample a produced and investigated with OBIA. This testing method is used to automatically extract minerals and cracks from the pictures of the thin sections and also automatically derive object-statistics from them. The statistical results are usually depicted in form of box-whiskers-plots.

With the results of the different testing methods, it is possible to have a better understanding of the rock at a state close to rockburst, this leads to a better understanding of the hazard itself.
Period9 Oct 201911 Oct 2019
Event titleGeomechanik Kolloquium 2019
Event typeConference
LocationSalzburg, AustriaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Rock Burst
  • Acoustic Emission
  • µCT
  • tunnelling, rock mechanics