Characteristics Of Chimney Subsidence Sinkhole Development From Abandoned Underground Coal Mines Along The Colorado Front Range

Matheson, Gordon M.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
The factors which control chimney subsidence sinkhole development in weak rock were assessed by analyzing the characteristics of approximately 3000 chimney subsidence features along the Colorado Front Range. The area of study included features developed over abandoned mines in the Colorado Springs Coal Field, the Boulder Coal Field, and the Foothills District. The approximate locations of the areas studied are shown in Figure 1. Data were collected for sinkholes occurring over both room and pillar, and retreat mining areas in coal seams with a wide range of dips. The location, size, and approximate time of development of each sinkhole were documented. From these data, relationships were developed which describe the time rate of observable sinkhole development and the relative location of sinkhole development with respect to mined height, overburden thickness, and type of mining for relatively flat-lying coal seams. In addition, the observed locations of sinkhole development over steeply dipping coal seams were assessed for portions of the study area.
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