In-Seam Seismic Tomography Mapping Application To Coal Mining Problems

Rodriguez, R.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1996
Continuing with the effort of providing new and more effective exploration methods to the mining industry, where direct methods (drilling, cross-cutting, etc.) are not applicable, either for logistical or environmental reasons or because they are costly and sometimes ineffective, we present here a new seismic technique based on full wave recording of 3-D channel waves generated within the coal seam across a longwall. In the past two years we reported the application on In-Seam High Resolution Seismic Reflection (ISHRSR) and In-Seam Seismic Tomography (ISST) to map non-coal inclusions that disrupt the coal seam continuity. In the present paper we present a 3-D In-Seam Seismic Tomography (3-DTSST) method using 3-D channel waves recorded by three component high resolution geophones. The method allows to distinguish longitudinal and transversal components of the channel waves, similar to the spheroidal and toroidal modes for the free oscillations of the earth. The recording of these waves allows a more complete analysis of the free modal vibrations of channel waves, permitting a more complete inversion of the structure of the coal seam through which they travel. The full wave analysis provides additional insights of the detailed coal structure for larger, distances than for the ones previously reported using the one dimensional method. The refinement of the inversion software is also a contribution towards the better definition of the coal seam geometry and structures disturbing them such as sandstone channels, sandstone rolls, partings, mine voids, faults, fractures, etc. The method is illustrated with three case studies where subsequent mining revealed the virtues and limitations. The first example deals with the problem of mapping mine works in one side of a longwall panel which geometry is well known, to verify its applicability to map old mine works. The second example deals with a sandstone body that partially scoured the coal seam withing a longwall panel. The third shows an application of the method to map roof conditions in a longwall panel where this problem critically affected production scheduling and costs
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