Relationship between the clay fabric of roof shales and roof collapse in mines of the Herrin cod, southern Illinois

Bodus, Theresa M.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1989
The strength of roof shales is, in part, a function of the preferred orientation of clay minerals within them. Therefore, analysis of clay fabric under both air-dried and hydrated conditions should be helpful in understanding roof shale failure. Core samples were collected from the Energy, Anna, and Lawson shales, which are locally present as roof shales of the Herrin No. 6 coal of southern Illinois. The Clay Fabric Index (CFI) was measured for thirty core samples, using X-ray diffractomtry, to investigate the relationship between clay fabric and roof collapse in coal mines. Greater CFI values indicate a weaker preferred orientation among clay minerals, which generally results in a weaker inter-grain bond. Average CFI values for air-dried samples were: 0.15 for Anna shale; 0.20 for Energy shale; and 0.37 for Lawson shale, .After the introduction of water, average CFI values increased to: 0.28 for Anna shale; 0.22 for Energy shale; and 0.43 for Lawson shale. The laboratory results indicate the following: [l] under air-dried conditions, Anna shale is the most stable, followed by Energy and Lawson shales; and 121 under hydrous (mine) conditions, Energy shale is the most stable, followed by Anna and Lawson shales. In mine environments where roof failures involving Energy shale have occurred, planar trends delineated by a relatively high density of small (0.2-4 cm diameter) iron concretions have been reported along the failure surface. Radial cracks have been observed around unsealed anchor bolt holes in the Anna shale. Instability of the Lawson shale is ubiquitous in coal mines. In the laboratory, similar physical changes were noted in the shale samples after the introduction of water, including [l] increased hydration around the perimeter of iron concretions in Energy shale, [2] radial extension cracks in Anna shale, and 131 extreme slaking of Lawson shale. Measured increases in the CFI reflect the observed physical changes of the samples upon the introduction of water, which probably reflect changes in strength that may result in roof failures in hydrated mine environments.
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