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Journal Articles Pure and Applied Geophysics Year : 2007

High-Frequency Hydroacoustic Monitoring in an Underground Iron Mine


The monitoring of the stability of old mines constitutes an important research objective for our institution, BRGM. The study reported here shows the contribution of high-frequency (>30 kHz) acoustic emissions to the detection of the damage within a rock mass, during an experiment within a pilot site of an old flooded iron mine. The experiment consisted of recording all the hydroacoustic events in a broad frequency band (between 30 Hz and 180 kHz), during 18 months. The monitoring network has been calibrated by a triggered block fall that made it possible to highlight a relationship between the occurrence of high-frequency/low-frequency hydroacoustic emissions and rock falls. The events recorded have been associated with the micro-failure of the rock mass near the roof, prior to the detachment of the blocks. This monitoring showed important high-frequency hydroacoustic activity, which may be associated with mechanical instabilities generated by the evolution of water pressure during the experiment. In conclusion, the high-frequency hydroacoustic activity appears to be a good indicator of instability and, therefore, this new technique constitutes a promising tool for monitoring abandoned underground cavities.


Earth Sciences
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Dates and versions

hal-03647368 , version 1 (20-04-2022)



Séverine Bernardie, Jean-Pascal Gilbert, François Lebert, Hubert Fabriol. High-Frequency Hydroacoustic Monitoring in an Underground Iron Mine. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 2007, 164 (1), pp.177-197. ⟨10.1007/s00024-006-0153-8⟩. ⟨hal-03647368⟩


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