Study of Subsidence Characteristics Due to Underground Mining of Coal Using a Physical Modeling Technique

Khair, A.W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 13
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
This paper presents an analysis of surface subsidence characteristics in room and pillar mining using physical models and laser holographic interferometry (holometry). The analysis included the effect of various geometric parameters and different overburden materials (sand and gelatin) and resulted in the formulation of a more realistic model material for laboratory simulation of typical geologic overburden. Previous work using this technique involved the use of sand to model over- burden and detailed results are presented elsewhere (1). The main emphasis of this work was to develop a gelatin based mixture which would provide a better model. Initial work during the development of this model included testing various ingredients and monitoring the time dependent characteristics of the model, such as the surface penetration resistance. This value indicated changing deformability/ridgidity of the model with time. Once several models had been developed, holometry techniques were applied. Initial tests showed that the stiffness of gelatin created a bridging effect over the mine models, thus restricting deformation. At this point, a 0.5 inch (1.27 cm.) layer of sand was placed directly over the mine model with the gelatin mixture on top. The approach was to model different zones of overburden movement that exist as an extraction occurs (2). The sand would represent the caved and fractured zones which occur above the excavated area. The gelatin models the continuously deformed zone which occurs between the fractured zone and the surface. Holometry techniques applied to this model yielded successful results.
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