In her position as Principal Consultant and Associate Partner at SRK Consulting South Africa, Lindsay Linzer specialises in geophysics and mine seismology.

She obtained a PhD in Geophysics in 2002, which was awarded the Rocha medal in 2003 by the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM).

This article first appeared in Mining Elites in Africa 2021
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This award is for the most outstanding PhD in rock mechanics worldwide and is awarded each year.

Lindsay has 23 years’ combined experience in the processing and interpretation of seismic waves ranging from:

  • acoustic emissions recorded in the laboratory
  • seismic surveys for geotechnical purposes
  • seismicity induced by shallow and deep level mining; and
  • seismic reflection data

She has applied state-of-the-art seismic interpretation technology to extract information vital to shaft-sinking, optimal borehole siting and mine-planning.

Lindsay has specialist skills in determining seismic source mechanisms (laboratory tests in rock and concrete and mining seismology) through moment tensor inversion using her own code and expertise in dynamic numerical modelling (2-D and 3-D) of seismic waves for AE/NDT laboratory tests; mineseismology problems; geotechnical problems; shaft-sinking, and reflection seismology.

“Very expert in her chosen field and supportive of industry bodies and education focused on her areas of expertise.” – Jim Pooley

Lindsay is an expert user and programmer in mXrap, a geotechnical data analysis and monitoring platform within which data analysis tools have been developed under the ACG’s Mine Seismicity and Rockburst Risk Management project.

Lindsay has contributed significantly to the development of analyses applications in conjunction with the ACG.

Lindsay served as president of South African Geophysics Association (SAGA) for the term 2006/2007. She collaborates with several international universities on research and development in mine seismology and seismic hazard, including: University of the Witwatersrand; University of Leeds, Australian Centre for Geomechanics; and the University of California.

She supervises and mentors MSc and PhD students from these universities.

She has published more than 40 refereed papers in journals’ conference proceedings and contributed to five chapters in textbooks.

Her contributions to research and development in the mining industry include the following:

  • Determination of the nature of the seismic source through moment tensor inversion (MTI) using her own software. Developed a new method (Hybrid MTI) to reduce the effects of noise on clusters of events, as well as a forward-modelling code (SynthESeis) to explicitly compute the body waves recorded by specified seismic networks for different sources (moment tensor, shearing, explosive and implosive sources).
  • Development of methods to integrate the rock response (seismic data) with modelled mining-induced stresses to analyse the change in fracture mechanisms with time due to mining activities.
  • Dynamic numerical modelling of the seismic wave field (WAVE) for complex sources and mining geometries, which assists in the interpretation of blast induced and rock burst damage.
  • • Investigation of the effects of unusual geology and mining excavations on migrated seismic sections to identify artifacts in 3D reflection seismic data used for structural geological interpretation.
  • Investigation of seismic acquisition geometries and source parameters to image shallow coal bords and pillars.
  • Investigation of the contribution of stopes to microseismic inversions for location and source parameters.
  • Prediction of peak particle velocities expected on the surfaces of critical mine infrastructure due to blasting while shaft-sinking.
  • Development of a database of strong ground motion seismic events for the whole of Africa.
  • Earthquake and mining induced seismic hazard analysis for tailings storage facilities.