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Combining qualitative and numerical techniques to improve bump potential recognition – a case study

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2016, Vol. 340, No. 1, pp. 48-52

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



Underground coal mines beneath Black Mountain in the Harlan County district of the Central Appalachian coalfields have an extensive history of bump events, which yields an elevated probability for significant injury or fatality to underground miners.  According to Mark (2009), Harlan County has had the greatest concentration of deep-cover retreat mining in the United States. Combined with the extensive multiple seam mining history, room-and-pillar coal bumps have had a disproportionate impact on coal operations in this region. The Harlan seam, one of the principal, economically recoverable coalbeds exploited beneath Black Mountain, has a significant burst history that extends into modern times.  A numerical investigation using the LaModel software of 17 bumps that occurred at the same mine in the Harlan seam was conducted and used to create a calibration methodology which serves as the quantitative basis for current and future numerical efforts in an adjacent mine exploiting the same reserve. In addition to this numerical study, a qualitative assessment of the geologic factors that are believed to contribute to the bump potential was completed. Combined with stability prediction using the numerical basis, these geologic factors will be used for recognition of high bump potential areas with the goal of reducing the potential for future bumps, helping to ensure the highest level of safety and productivity for underground personnel.