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|Burrier pillars in underground coal mines could eventually be subjected to a water head due to the build-up of mine water in the old workings. The water head could not only act ns a force to destabilize the pillar, but it could also cause seepage flow through the pillar and its surrounding strata. Excessive seepage flow could induce piping failure that, ill turn, could accelerate the mechanical failure process of the barrier pillars. In this paper, a finite element simulation approach was employed in the evaluation of the barrier pillars. Both the stress distribution and the seepage flow pattern in and around a barrier pillar have been simulated numerically. The effects of ground stress on rock permeability to water seepage has been taken into consideration in these simulations,|