Monitoring Problems; Are We Really Measuring Coal Mine Subsidence?

Bauer, Robert A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
Geology and weather effects produce natural ground movements that may be misinterpreted as mine subsidence. Weather, local geology and vegetation clearly influence the elevation of the ground surface through frost action and changes in groundwater levels and soil moisture content. Common practices of monument and benchmark design and placement do not address the problem of natural ground movements. Monuments can be designed to minimize some natural ground movements. Differential displacements can be reduced by knowledgeable placement of benchmarks and monuments which are of similar design and construction. Commonly, the threshold values of movement for the determination of mine-induced subsidence are dependent on the closure errors (accuracy) of individual surveys. Accuracy is more than the amount of closure error; it should include the range of elevation changes (error band) determined for each monument over a period of time before it is disturbed by mining. Multiple baseline surveys of the entire monitoring system, conducted before the onset of subsidence, should be used to establish subsidence detection limits.
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