The Utilisation of Numerical Modelling to Predict Water and Gas Flows Around Longwall Panels; Two Case Studies from the UK Coal Mining Industry

Reddish, D. J.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2003
This paper illustrates how numerical modelling has been utilised to predict water and gas pathways around active longwall panels using two case studies. This information has proved invaluable m the design of methane drainage schemes and for risk assessments undertaken at the mining planning stage. The modelling approach described has now been applied successfully to several situations in UK coalmines in order to optimise the position, length and orientation of methane drainage boreholes. The first case study describes the numerical modelling of the stress and shear plane development mund a longwall panel. The simulation was used to predict potential gas pathways through regions of low stress confinrment which are conducive to fluid flow. The conclusions from the modelling were utilised to allow an increase in the volumes of gas drainage and allow the efficient mining of the panel. A detailed discussion is provided on the model construction, determination of input paramters and optimisation of the borehole positions Details are provided on how the models allow a prediction of the fracture patterns, stress distributions and zones of reduced permeability around an active longwall panel. The second case study describes the numerical modelling of a fault adjacent to a face line drivage of a panel that had just started to be retreated. An inrush of water had occurred and a concern was whether further mining would lead to more extensive inrushes or whether the water inrush was associated with more local, limited capacity water bearing features. The role of a fault that was positioned close to the locality of the mine workings was examined. Fracture patterns stresses, strata permeability and water flows were predicted using mechanical and hydro-mechanical coupled models.
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