Early Warning Potential of Ambient Seismic Noise: Monitoring Tailings Dams

Recent tailings dam failures occurring in past years have highlighted a need for innovative approaches to monitoring these structures. This research proposes to explore advances in the development of a novel type of distributed fiber-optic sensing technology known as Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), and evaluate its performance in monitoring a tailings dam. Ambient noise interferometry will be applied to the collected data to measure changes in the shear wave velocity of the tailings dam structure. As changes in shear wave velocity is related to the rigidity of the tailings dam, this parameter may be used as a component of a tailings dam early warning system.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jan Dettmer


Susanne Ouellet


BGC Engineering Inc


Geography / Geology / Earth science



University of Calgary



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