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Evaluating bump prone ground with LaModel through site-specific calibration

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2014, Vol. 336, No. 1, pp. 441-448

Harris, K.W.; Perry, K.A.


Reserve depletion in Central Appalachia is continuously creating unique ground conditions for underground coal mines with many of these difficult environments directly attributable to multiple seam mining and/or deeper overburdens. While many empirical studies have been performed in an effort to improve understanding of these problems along with potentially improving safety and extraction, many of the difficulties encountered lie outside of the normal realm of expected behavior. This is often the case when mining in bump prone ground, where additional concerns are introduced and design buffers are warranted. 

  The boundary element software LaModel was used to study three bump events in a deep-cover, multiple-seam reserve located in Harlan county in the Kentucky region of Central Appalachia. This region is notoriously bump prone due to significant areas of deep cover, the presence of strong to massive lithology (such as sandstone), and an extensive history of underground mining that increases the probability of multiple seam interactions. Multiple seam interactions are best understood with respect to site-specific parameters, including both the geological and geometrical components of interburden, overburden and mine workings. Initially, empirical-based approaches (ARMPS/AMSS) were used when attempting to back-analyze the bump events. However, it was recognized that a more detailed investigation was necessary to understand the fundamental causes/conditions associated with the bump events. Consequently, the LaModel study resulted in a mine-specific calibration method for the reserve. With this method in place, enhanced bump prediction throughout the reserve is expected, such that the
stability, recovery and safety of future mining may be improved.