Reliability of Subsidence Prediction Methods for Use in Mining Decisions in New South Wales
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1991
Subsidence prediction methods can be divided into two basic types: empirical and analytical. Empirical methods are based largely on a combination of experience, intuition and observations from a large number of observed subsidence data. They are simple in their application, but they are not based on any principle of mechanics. Analytical methods are based on equivalent material modelling principles, where the ground surrounding the extraction is mathematically represented by idealised materials that deform according to the principles of continuum mechanics. Wide applicability and improved understanding are the principal advantages claimed for this approach. In NSW, significant progress has been achieved in the area of subsidence prediction during the last ten years. Empirical prediction curves are available in NSW for predicting the ground movement in the Southern and Newcastle Coalfields. A' comparison of subsidence values predicted from these curves with the actual monitored values indicates that the curves are adequate for use in conjunction with the existing damage assessment methods. Future research for improving the existing empirical prediction curves can only be justified if it is cost effective. There are several numerical models currently in use in NSW for predicting subsidence. The models do not appear to be superior in their ability to predict subsidence when compared with the empirical curves. the performance of these models will no doubt improve along with advances in defining strata properties and failure mechanisms.