Swelling behavior is defined either as the increase in volume of unsaturated rocks containing smectite group minerals due to time-dependent water absorption or the excess stress occurring if the volume increase is obstructed. Since swelling behavior is a small process the associated problems are later realized and thus, causes the precautions taken to be either temporary or inadequate. This paper deals with obtaining the swelling parameters which can be used in solving the problems in Bursa Lignite Open Pit Mine and quantitative determination of uniaxial swelling behavior.

1 Introduction

Swelling rocks lead to damage not only to the underground structures such as tunnels, galleries, gateroads, wells but also to the surface structures like foundations, slopes, retaining walls, highways, and irrigation channels. The open pit mines are one of the surface engineering structures encountered the swelling problems. The Telnes ilmenite open pit mine in Southwestern Norway and the Goynuk lignite open pit mine in Turkey can be examples for the issue (Nilsen & Ballou 2006, Tabrizian 1989). In these mines swelling rocks caused slope failures.

The topic of this study is about swelling behavior of rocks in Turkey Coal Enterprises Bursa Lignite Open Pit Mine located in Orhaneli (Bursa). Swelling rocks are caused stability problems in Bursa Lignite Enterprise. Uniaxial swelling tests with computer controlled swelling test apparatus were performed on samples from open pit mine. Swelling stresses were found as a function of axial swelling strains. Mineralogical analyses were carried out to determine the type and percentage of swelling minerals.

2 Bursa Lignite Enterprise

Bursa Lignite Enterprise (BLI) is located in Gumuspinar village, Orhaneli county, Bursa, Turkey. Gumuspinar is 25 km far from Orhaneli and 83 km far from Bursa (Fig. 1). Bursa Lignite Enterprise, one of the production units of Turkey Coal Enterprises (TKİ), carries out the production of lignite coals for the Orhaneli power plant unit (1×210MW) and for domestic use.

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