Student finds hundreds of ‘seismic events’ around Crandall Canyon collapse

Posted at 7:32 PM, Apr 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-20 00:24:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY - A University of Utah graduate student has identified hundreds of previously unknown seismic events before and after the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster in 2007.

Tex Kubacki used data from four seismographs within 20 miles of the mine.

His research is sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, with the hope that as his technique is used to collect more data from other mines, it may lead to advances in predicting such events.

In August of 2007, six miners were killed by a major collapse and three comrades died in a secondary collapse trying to rescue their friends.

Mapping out the locations of the events “helps us better delineate the extent of the collapse at Crandall canyon. It’s gotten bigger,” says Tex Kubacki, a University of Utah master’s student in mining engineering.

“We can see now that, prior to the collapse, the seismicity was occurring where the mining was taking place, and that after the collapse, the seismicity migrated to both ends of the collapse zone,” including the mine’s west end, he adds.

Kubacki presented his findings Friday in Salt Lake City during the Seismological Society of America’s 2013 annual meeting.