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In relation to underground metal mining the Institute provides the following services:

Microseismics and Engineering Seismology (MES) department has been actively conducting research and development on the application of seismic and microseismic technique for the structure stability monitoring as per the challenges of mining and civil engineering industry. NIRM has first introduced this advanced real time monitoring technique in the Indian mining and civil engineering industry.

The Institute has developed expertise in tailor made design and installation of microseismic monitoring networks for conducting the real time field strata monitoring remotely, and processing & interpretation of data to forewarn the instability occurrence of the underground space structures. The department has also designed and installed real time microseismic strata monitoring system for hydropower projects in powerhouse caverns of NTPC Ltd., and DGPC, Bhutan.

Displacement contour at TVHPP, Joshimath

Environmental and Exploration Geophysics

Environmental and Exploration Geophysics Dept. works with an objective of carrying out research and application using geophysical techniques for near surface imaging and geophysical monitoring of slopes, underground structures and critical structures. The prime concern of the geophysical activities is to address various environmental issues related to urban and industrial belts with a view of find solutions to inevitable environmental degradation and damages that lingers around as an after effect of rapid developments requiring excavation, construction and industrialisation.

Typical areas of work are urban land use planning and construction, nuclear power stations, hydroelectric projects, strategic underground structures, subsurface utilities imaging and investigation for vulnerability to natural and unnatural hazards (earthquake and landslide). As part of the efforts, the aim is to aid safety and stability of important structures by combining geological, geophysical and geotechnical information of a site. Thus, the department is also in endeavour for geophysical contribution to environmental impact assessment.

Seismotectonic Studies

Seism tectonic evaluation of the region around any major developmental project is a prerequisite for its design. Over the years NIRM is actively engaged in seism tectonic evaluation for nuclear power sites as per the guidelines of AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and made some path breaking findings related with Indian seismicity. NIRM also formulated a methodology for seism tectonic evaluations of nuclear power sites in India. The following are the expertise developed at NIRM, in the field of seism tectonic studies, within the core scope of site characterization.

  •   Lineament Analysis- Preparation of lineament map from the analysis of different satellite images and survey of India Top sheets which is the basic data requirement for any seism tectonic/active fault studies. NIRM identified several lineaments which are identified as faults.
  •   Active Fault Mapping- Active faults can produce earthquakes. Mapping potentially active faults and extracting information on history of movement are major input to seismic hazard evaluation. Through geomorphic analysis and field studies active faults were identified by NIRM at several locations in India.
  •   Pale seismic studies - Identifying the pale earthquakes and its timing are integral part of seismic hazard assessment of an area. NIRM uses trenching and dating techniques to evaluate the pale earthquakes from liquefaction features and surface ruptures. NIRM identified pale earthquake features from Peninsular India genetic plane as well as from Himalaya.
  •   Seismic Source Characterization - Source characterization describes the rate at which earthquakes of a given magnitude and dimensions (length and width) occur at a given location. Based on the seismic data, active fault mapping, and paleoseimological studies NIRM carried out source characterization for Kudankulam and Pudimadaka nuclear installations which is the fundamental data for seismic design.

NIRM is equipped with a state-of-art Remote Sensing and GIS Lab and uses images of Landsat, LISS4, Cartosat stereo, SRTM, Aster etc. For preparing lineament map and geomorphic analysis ERDAS, LPS and Arc GIS software are used.