This paper describes the key elements of development numerical model and performing elasto-plastic and visco-plastic 3D analysis, which has not previously been developed in relation to the problem of the Tuzla Salt Mine in Bosnia and herzegovina or similar salt mines problems. Nonlinear finite element analysis allow the calculation of stresses and deformations, and so obtain the data needed to assess the stability of the salt caverns over time, and thereby the surface subsidence across the extensive area of the city of Tuzla. This required the introduction of upgrade simulation software packages ABAQUS for solving the complex problem of the Tuzla Salt Mine. It is another new and important factor in the development of numerical model, because the finite element method and computer simulation are powerful tools that assist the management and engineering force of mining companies with taking reasonable decisions about and steps toward improving the quality of work and safety of all employees, as well as the whole environment in the zone of subsidence. Results of stress strain analysis have been compared with measured values (vertical displacement of surface), over a period of time.

1. Introduction

The Tuzla Salt Mine is considered as a major and one of the most serious ground displacement problems in B&H, and also in Europe. Uncontrolled salt extraction from this mine has produced about 80,000,000 m3 of salt water, with a salt mass deficit of about 12,000,000 m3 created below the immediate urban area of the city of Tuzla. This long-term uncontrolled process of extraction of salt water from the Tuzla mine has resulted in ground subsidence in the central part of the city, causing significant damage to the city infrastructure and facilities. Ground subsidence and surface deformation have caused the demolition of about 2,700 housing units, approximately 67,000m2 of production facilities, and 130,888m2 of educational, health, cultural, and sports facilities. Due to this, 15000 inhabitants have been displaced from the affected area. The catastrophic consequences arising on the ground surface necessitated the closure of the salt mine and salt caverns is filled with water. Although salt water leaks have been detected and sealed, ground across the city of Tuzla has continued to subside, with the occurrence of landslides, unstable slopes, and other types of ground movement.

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