A Decision Support System for Optimizing Engineering and Operational Design of Nearshore Mining Operations Based on Numerical Simulations of Nearshore Waves, Currents and Water Levels

Designing economically viable mining operations in the normally hostile environment of the nearshore zone requires that a balance be struck between minimizing capital costs of infrastructure (e.g. mining vehicle/jack-up rigs) and maximizing operational time, but in a manner that ensures minimal safety risk (e.g. structural failure) and/or risk of disruption of the operations as planned. To assist in determining specific design requirements for such nearshore mining operations a decision support system (DSS) has been developed whereby various design/operational thresholds (e.g. a wave height threshold, a current speed threshold etc) can be specified and the resulting available operational time determined for the mining area of interest. By iteratively selecting design/operational thresholds and obtaining the associated operational time distribution across the mining area, the mining operator can ensure a rig/vehicle design and an associated design of mining operations that provides an optimal balance between minimizing capital costs and maximizing operational time. The economic viability of mining operations based on this optimized design can then be assessed. The utility of the DSS in assessing the economic viability of a proposed operation is not limited to only mining operations and could be extended to other operations in the nearshore zone such as construction activities. Furthermore, a natural extension to the DSS is a forecast system to optimize safety and operational efficiency of operations in the nearshore zone. This paper describes the DSS and associated numerical modeling effort used to assess a proposed nearshore mining operation on the west coast of southern Africa. The DSS is based on both simulated and measured time series of environmental conditions of a one year duration that are considered to be representative of the long term environmental conditions at the location(s) of the proposed nearshore mining operations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 492-511
  • Monograph Title: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01005948
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0784407347
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 14 2005 12:49PM