Long-term Subsidence Monitoring Over a Longwall Coal Mine in Southern Illinois

Mehnert, Brenda B.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
Long-term monitoring is necessary to successfully develop predictive subsidence models. Thus, the Illinois Mine Subsidence Research Program (IMSRP) has documented subsidence over a longwall mine in south-central Illinois throughout a 3-year period. No monitoring results of this duration have been previously published for longwall mining in Illinois. To study the effects of surface subsidence and the rate of subsidence, precise level surveying was conducted at the site two or three times a year. Level surveys were conducted at approximately the same time of year using a WILD NA-2 level with a micrometer. Second-Order, Class-I, closure errors were obtained in each survey. Survey monuments were designed to minimize frost-induced movements. At this particular site in southern Illinois, subsidence over chain pillars and the panel centerline continued 3 years after mining. Since mining in 1988, 6.67 feet of subsidence or 70% of the extracted height has been documented over the panel centerline, with almost 0.30 feet in the last two years. The area over the chain pillars has subsided a total of 1.44 feet, with 0.44 feet occurring within the last 2 years. Monitoring over the chain pillars and at the centerline shows the residual subsidence to be fairly uniform. Monitoring is continuing over both of these areas. Long-term monitoring data can be used to improve evaluation of subsidence effects on land and structures. However, coal companies will time mitigation activities depending on other factors including the threshold of structural damage, type of repair needed, and maintenance of landowner and company relations.
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