Applying Atmospheric Status Equations to Data Collected From a Sealed Mine, Postfire Atmosphere
Description:In early June 1986, an underground fire of unknown origin erupted in one of several entries of a coal mine located in southwestern Colorado. For a time, mine personnel aggressively fought the fire. However, control of the fire was later lost. To prevent further damage and reduce the possibility of an explosion, all portals and shafts to the mine were sealed. The mine operator requested the U.S. Bureau of Mines' assistance in obtaining and analyzing mine fire gases taken from sampling ports placed through the mine seals, as well as down boreholes drilled after the fire. This report recounts activities within the first 2 years of the mine being sealed. It includes a description of gases analyzed and mine atmosphere status equations generated from the analyzed gases. The gases were analyzed by chromatography and included standard atmospheric gases as well as higher hydrocarbons that are found in postfire atmospheres. Nine equations were used to evaluate what was occurring within the sealed mine. Following a description of the rationale behind each equation, the 2-year trend is briefly analyzed.
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