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A comprehensive subsidence study for a longwall mine under steeply mountainous areas

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2010, Vol. 328, No. 1, pp. 450-457

Luo, Yi


 Longwall coal mines are frequently located in steep mountainous areas with narrow valleys. In order to protect surrounding watersheds and residential structures, support areas are left under the valleys. However, the indirect subsidence effects to the residential structures due to the potential topography effects can be a serious problem. The present study examines a longwall mine in southern West Virginia located in an area with an average slope of about 30°, or 58%, and with an overburden depth that varies from 49 to 376 m (160 to 1,235 ft). A comprehensive investigation was carried out to assess the subsidence and topography effects, as well as other ground control issues at this site. Surface and subsurface movements and deformation were predicted and their direct effects on nearby streams and structures were assessed. The potential and indirect subsidence influences of surface topography effects were assessed.
The techniques and results of this investigation are presented in this paper. It shows that the direct and indirect subsidence effects on the streams and residential structures should be insignificant. The post-mining observations agreed well with this study.