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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Creating Passage

In underground rescue it often becomes necessary to make space where there isn't enough. This is not a typical method for caves as they are not often modified by cave explorers, and it is not common for them to experience large shifts in rock or soil. Yes, there are exceptions to this, but for the most part, cave passageway is fairly static in the near term, and doesn't require modification. In addition, the team is loath to make any modifications to caves for conservation reasons. Mines are a different story.

When passageway modification becomes necessary there are two principal considerations. The safety of the patient, and the overall stability of the passage. Modification must not compromise either of these. For this reason, the "blasting" technique employed is not something that would make interesting television or movie scenes. We focus on minimal pressures designed to crack rock, and not displace it. We can then use wedges to propagate the crack, and partition the rock. In some cases we can forego any blasting, and use the wedges, alone, to crack the rock.








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