Society of Mining Engineers of AIME, Dallas, Texas, 23–28 February 1974, Preprint No. 74-AIME-26
Author: J. F. T. Agapito (Atlantic Richfield Company)

The mining engineer must be able to predict the structural behavior of the rock around underground openings so that he can answer questions relating to safety and economics. With the present status of rock mechanics knowledge, exact predictions cannot be attained and approximate idealizations are made. As a first approximation, structural design makes use of theory, laboratory testing of rock properties, and available experience from excavations in similar rock formations. However, realistic design can usually be obtained only after in situ observations and measurements are made. After all the information is collected, judgement and experience play a most important role in the final formulation of the design. This paper describes part of a geotechnical program which was instrumental in obtaining information for the design of large oil shale pillars. The work was carried out during 1971 and 1972 in the experimental mine of the Colony Development Operation. Colony is an oil shale venture formed between Atlantic Richfield Company, operator, The Oil Shale Corporation, Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, and Sohio Petroleum Company to conduct research and development in mining and retorting of oil shale.

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