Analysis of discontinuities in the Lashotor stone quarry complex (south of Isfahan) and its importance in extraction optimization


1 Master of Tectonics, Department of Geology, University of Isfahan

2 Associate Professor, Department of Geology, University of Isfahan


The Lashotor stone quarry complex as the part of the Sanandaj-Sirjan structural zone is located in the south of the Isfahan city. The Cretaceous calcareous units are the main lithological unit extended in the area. Unscientific extraction is caused to produce many wastes in this stone quarry Complex. Investigation and modelling of structural discontinuities is an essential step in the mining to wastes reduction and economic efficiency improvements. Blocks with different geometric characteristics (number and volume of each block) resulted from the intersections between discontinuities and the faces directions. So, the attitudes of discontinuities (i.e. bedding, joints and stylolites) and their spacing and direction of the cutting step of each face were measured during field survey. The dominant strike of discontinuities are stylolites, which are parallel to the bedding planes based on rose diagrams of the strike direction obtained from field measurements. The average spacing of the stylolites is ~1-1.2 meters. Based on the results of the Modeling Using 3DEC software and the percentage of non-economic blocks was calculated and the volume-cumulative percentage diagrams the current faces were not extracted in correct directions. Therefore, modeling was repeated for different directions of the faces until reaching an optimal direction in order to reduce the waste and increase the efficiency. Finally, the best extraction direction was suggested.


Aghanabati, A., 2004. Geology of Iran. Geological Society of Iran Publications, p. 586.
Arzani, N., 2007. Diagenetic processes (silicification and stylolite) and their role in quality of marbel quarry, a study of in Central Iran. Proccedings of the Fifth conference of the geological society of Iran. Geological and Mineral Exploration of Iran.
Baecher, G.B., 1983. Statistical analysis of rock mass fracturing. Mathematical Geology 15, 329-348.
Barton, N., 1990. Scale effects or sampling bias. Scale Effects in Rock Mechanics, pp. 31-55.
Brady, B.H., Brown, E.T., 2013. Rock mechanics for underground mining. Springer Science & Business Media 385, pp. 597.
Darvishzadeh, A., 1991. Geology of Iran. Amir Kabir Publications, p. 901.
Dearman, W., 2013. Engineering geological mapping, Elsevier.
Fahimifar, J., 2002. Competitiveness of building and decorative stones processing units in global markets Report of the second phase, Industrial, Educational and Information Research Project. Ministry of Industries and Mines, pp. 118.
Fossen, H., 2016. Structural geology. Cambridge University Press, p. 456.
Ghasemi, A., Talbot, C.J., 2006. A new tectonic scenario for the Sanandaj–Sirjan Zone (Iran). Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 26(6), 683-693.
Ghorbani, M., 2007. Economic Geology of Mineral and Natural Resources of Iran, Arinezamin Publications, Tehran, p. 465.
Itasca, 2016. 3DEC User Manual Version 5.2. Minneapolis: Itasca Consulting Group.
Jearsarai, M., 2011. Survey of the effect of geometrical parameters of fractures on the exploration stage of rock and facade deposits to reduce waste and optimize extracted blocks, MSc Thesis, Isfahan University of Technology.
Larbi, J., 2003. Effect of stylolites on the durability of building stones: two case studies. Heron-English edition 48, 231-247.
Mansouri, H., 2000. Contribution al analyse des effets des tirs d abattage, Mines de sar chesmeh (IRAN), PhD Thesis.
McClay, K.R., 2013. The mapping of geological structures, Geological Society of London Handbook Series, p.168.
Mosch, S., Nikolayew, D., Ewiak, O., Siegesmund, S., 2011. Optimized extraction of dimension stone blocks. Environmental Earth Sciences, pp.1911-1924.
Nadimi, A., Konon, A., 2012. Strike-slip faulting in the central part of the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone, Zagros orogen, Iran. Journal of Structural Geology 40, 2-16.
Orei, K., Sidi, M., Haghighat, L., 2004. Production Planning in Decorative Stone quarry (Case Study in Atabaki Stone Mine). Iran Mining Engineering Conference, Tarbiat Modares University.
Palmstrom, A., 1985. Application of the volumetric joint count as a measure of rock mass jointing. In International Symposium on Fundamentals of Rock Joints, 103-110.
Palmstrom, A., 1996. RMi-a system for characterizing rock mass strength for use in rock engineering. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Tunneling Technology 1, 69-108.
Palmstrom, A., 2005. Measurements of and correlations between block size and rock quality designation (RQD). Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 20, 362-377.
Palmstrom, A., Singh, R., 2001. The deformation modulus of rock masses comparisons between in situ tests and indirect estimates. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 16, 115-131.
Safaei, H., 2005. Final Research Identification Research Report and seismic analysis of faults around Isfahan, University of Isfahan, p. 116.
Safaei, H., 2009. The continuation of the Kazerun fault system across the Sanandaj-Sirjan zone (Iran). Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 35, 391-400.
Sainsbury, B., Pierce, M., Mas Ivars, D., 2008. Simulation of rock mass strength anisotropy and scale effects using a Ubiquitous Joint Rock Mass (UJRM) model, Proceedings First International FLAC/DEM Symposium on Numerical Modelling, 25-27.
Sen, Z., Eissa, E.A., 1992. Rock quality charts for log-normally distributed block sizes. International journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences & Geomechanics Abstracts, pp. 1-12.
 Shafi’i, Sh., Ebadi, M., Torkashvand, M., 2012. Fracutre analysis in stone quarries and application in extraction optimization (A Case Study of Saeedi Building Stone, Kerman). Journal of Earth Sciences, pp. 89-98.
Shaykh al-Islami, M.R., 2014. Tectonic units - stratigraphy of the southeastern part of Sanandaj – Sirjan. Geosciences Research Institute. Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration Organization, pp. 243-252.
Sousa, L.M.O., 2010. Evaluation of joints in granitic outcrops for dimension stone exploitation. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology 43, 85-94.
Tanzadeh, P., 2017. Fracture analysis n the Lashotor stone quarry complex and its application in extraction optimization, MSc Thesis, University of Isfahan.
Tercan, A.E., Ozcelik, Y., 2000. Geostalistical evaluation of dimension stone quarries. Engineering Geology 58, 33-55.
Tillman, J.E., Poosti, A., Rossello, S., Eckert, A., 1981. Structural evolution of Sanandaj-Sirjan ranges near Isfahan, Iran. AAPG Bulletin 65, 674-687.
Ulker, E., Turanboy, A., 2009. Maximum volume cuboids for arbitrarily shaped in-situ rock blocks as determined by discontinuity analysis-A genetic algorithm approach. Computers & Geosciences 35, 1470-1480.
Wang, H., Latham, J.P., Poole, A.B., 1991. Predictions of block size distribution for quarrying. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology 24, 91-99.
Warburton, P.M., 1983. Applications of a new computer model for reconstructing blocky rock geometry-analysing single block stability and identifying keystones. In 5th ISRM Congress. International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, PP. 225-230.
Warburton, P.M., 1985. A computer program for reconstructing blocky rock geometry and analyzing single block stability. Computers & Geosciences 11, 707-712.
Xu, H., Wu, Q., 2001. A framework modeling of geological related spatial data in 3D scene. In Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Future Software Technology, Zhengzhou, China, 252-257.
Yarahmadi, R., Bagherpour, R., Kakaie, R., Mirzaie, N.H., Yari, M., 2014. Development of 2D computer program to determine geometry of rock mass blocks. International Journal of Mining Science and Technology 24, 191-194.
Yarahmadi, R., Bagherpour, R., Taherian, S.G., Sousa, L.M., 2018. Discontinuity modelling and rock block geometry identification to optimize production in dimension stone quarries. Engineering Geology 232, 22-33.
Yarahmadi, R., Bagherpour, R., Taherian, S.G., Sousa, L.M., 2018. Optimization of quarrying using modelling discontinuities and in situ blocks. Journal of Mining Engineering 45, pp. 9.
Zahedi, M., 1976. Shahreza Geological Map Scale 1/100000, Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration of Iran.