Recent insight into longwall strata movements deduced from subsidence analysis

Heasley, K. A. ; Saperstein, L. W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
In this paper, a number of novel hypotheses that provide a fresh perspective on the characterization of strata movements associated with longwall mining are developed by analyzing subsidence measurements with an influence-function-based computer program. Using an inverse application of the traditional influence-function technique, easily obtained surface displacements are used to analyze some of the complicated, expensive, and difficult-to- measure movements of the intermediate roof strata in a longwall panel. The primary hypothesis developed by this analysis proposes the existence of an area of partial roof caving near the edge of a panel called the "edge effect." A secondary hypothesis, interrelated with the first, promotes the importance of the effect of gate-entry closure on the observed strata movements. Both the primary edge-effect hypothesis and the secondary hypothesis concerning gate-entry closure are justified and quantified in an extensive analysis of surface subsidence that uses supporting information from related theories, design criteria, and in situ measurements. Next, the edge effect and the gate closure hypotheses are extended further and used to provide an explanation of the complex subsidence interaction of adjacent longwall panels in what is termed a "redisturbed" effect. Finally, the importance of accurately understanding these longwall strata movements for proper subsidence prediction or gate design is stressed.
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