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APractical Approach to Challenges in Meshing Mining Models

Dzik, Edward, Christine Detournay, Peter Cundall

Research Notes, 26th International Meshing Roundtable, Sandia National Laboratories, September 18-21 2017


26th International Meshing Roundtable
Barcelona, Spain
September 18-21, 2017

Edward Dzik, Itasca Consulting Group, Inc., US,
Christine Detournay, Itasca Consulting Group, Inc., US,
Peter Cundall, Itasca Consulting Group, Inc., US,

Research Note Abstract
A practical approach to overcome challenges to the generation of 3D surface and volume meshes encountered in geological settings is presented. Input data can be delivered in a variety of forms from a mine: laser-scanned point clouds, facet-based surfaces, contour lines, and less commonly mathematical boundary representations. In addition to delimiting different geological materials and excavations, the data often includes descriptions of discontinuities such as faults and joints, which may completely or partially cut through each other and the various geological domains and excavations. Meshing this geometry proves extremely challenging, not only because it is non-manifold, often requires meshing at vastly different scales, but also raw data delivered from a mining client is typically not clean. Several custom meshing tools have been developed by Itasca as plug-ins to a commercial CAD system that greatly facilitate the mesh generation process for geological settings.

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