Think Like a Rock

Barczak, Tom
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
Early in my career, while giving a presentation on shield design for longwall mining at one of the International Conferences on Ground Control in Mining, the late Jim Scott told me that I was finally getting it, because ?I was starting to think like a rock!? Although I didn?t realize it at the time, those few words changed my career forever. At the start of my career, I did a lot of laboratory testing, taking advantage of the unique capabilities of the Mine Roof Simulator to study the performance and design characteristics of longwall shields. I had a pretty good handle on what made shields work and what made them fail, but I was still struggling with how and why they develop their in-service loads and what they were actually controlling as opposed to being passive bystanders in a world beyond their control. It became clear to me that the simplistic models of dead weight loading could not explain the behavior I saw and measured underground. The problem did not go away when I started studying standing support systems. Again, I learned much about the strength, stiffness, and stability of these supports and helped the industry develop several new support products that attempted to provide more efficient support designs. But here, too, the simplistic models of dead weight loading did not seem to fit for me. That?s when I began to incorporate the ground reaction concept as a way of integrating the support response and the ground behavior into a cohesive design methodology. The concept has its limitations, no doubt, but I believe some form of it will be the future of not only designing supports but also, in the broader sense, enhancing the engineering aspects of ground control. The paper presented at the International Conference on Ground Control last year by Esterhuizen (2010) on pillar behavior is evidence of this. Think like a rock. Jim Scott was right. It takes two to dance. You can?t dance alone and you will never understand ground control by thinking like a support! ?Dumb as a box of rocks?? I don?t think so. The answer lies in the rocks!
Full Article Download:
(2340 kb)


Additional chapters/articles from the SME-ICGCM book 30th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining

A Study on Geotechnical Risks in Interaction Between Open-Pi
Think Like a Rock
Mapping and Application of Roof Joint Patterns for Ground Co
The Autowarning Telltale: A New Safety Monitoring Device for
Recent Innovations for Slope Development
Analysis of Roof Falls at and Recommendation of Roof Control
The Introduction of Uk Rockbolting Technology into Coal Mine
A Pipeliner's Perspective on Longwall Mining
Why Dead Load Suspension Design for Roadway Roof Support Is
Investigation Into Abnormal Surface Subsidence Above a Longw
Protecting Underground Coal Miners From Rib Falls
MSHA Technical Review of Proposed Mine Designs for U.S.Under
Prediction of Roof Fall Rate in Coal Mines Using Fuzzy Logic
Surface Subsidence Velocity of Fully-Mechanized Thick Seam T
Engineering Geophysics - Mine Subsidence Risk Assessment Stu
A Retrospective on LaModel (Or Dr. Heasley?s Wild Ride)
Safe Pillar Extraction Practice - Some Geotechnical Principl
Case Study of Roof Behaviour and Conditions for Longwall Fac
Early Warning of Longwall Weighting Events and Roof Cavities
Streams and Longwall Coal Mining Subsidence: A Pennsylvania
Surface Structures Impacted By Subsidence From Pennsylvania
GIS Supported Evaluation of Surface Level Impacts Due to Aba
Development and Application of Impact-Resistant Lagging for
Detection and Monitoring of Surface Subsidence Associated wi
Applications of ARMPS (Version 6) to Practical Pillar Design
The Duncan Method of Partial Pillar Extraction at Tasman Min
The Duncan Method of Partial Pillar Extraction at Tasman Min
Geotechnical Considerations for Longwall Top Coal Caving at
Assessment of the Dynamic Loads Effect on Underground Mines
Designing Shotcrete As Primary Support in Tunnels
The Influence of Interface Friction and W/H Ratio on the Vio
Gateroad Support in the Czech and Polish Coal Mining Industr
Study on Eco-Friendly Underground Mining System for Ultra-Th
Ground Control Technology for Mass Exploitation of Coal Depo
The Initial Performance of Commonly Used Primary Support on
Application of Stress, Geologic, and Support Design System (
A Retrospective Assessment of Ground Control Research and Ap
Calculating the Mining-Induced Horizontal Deformation Indice
Understanding the Causes of Roof Control Problems on a Longw
The Technical Progress and Problems to Be Solved of Thick Co
Topography and Coal Seam Initial Stress Estimation: a Sensit
The Effects of Longwall Coal Mining on the Hydrogeology of S
Application of Yield-Lok Bolt for Bursting and Convergence G
Research on Mine Pessure Behaviors and Overlying Strata Move
Preventing Roof Fall Accidents - An Operation's Approac
Roof Bolting for Long-Term Entries in Underground Coal Mines
Numerical Modeling of the Pillar Confinement with Backfillin