Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Mahdi Zoorabadi and Marzieh Rajabi, Impact of bedding plane and laminations on softening zone around the roadways – 3D numerical assessment, in Naj Aziz and Bob Kininmonth (eds.), Proceedings of the 17th Coal Operators' Conference, Mining Engineering, University of Wollongong, 8-10 February 2017, 32-40.


When the distributed rock stress around the roadways exceeds the strength of the rock, the rock is failed and a softening zone is formed. Roof deformation developed in the roof and ribs of the roadways are highly controlled by the depth of softening zones. The rock failure process starts from a point ahead of the face and grows into the roof, floor and ribs by advancing roadway. The maximum stress that can be transferred through the failed rocks would be equal to its residual confined strength. Therefore, rock stress is moved above failed zone and will create new failure zone if it is higher than the confined strength of rock at that depth. This process continues until the confined strength of the rock becomes higher than stress components. Bedding and lamination planes play a big role into the failure pathway of rocks around roadways. The thickness of softening zone is significantly influenced by the shear and tensile strength of bedding planes and laminations. This paper presents a 3D numerical assessment of the bedding and lamination planes impacts to the forming and extension of the softening zones. It highlights the requirements for better characterisation of bedding and lamination planes for reliable simulation of roadways.