Case Evaluation of a Surface Seismic Reflection Technique for Delineating Coalbed Discontinuities
Description:Coalbed discontinuities historically have been hazardous to mining as well as obstructions to efficient production. An effective means of mapping these features is needed in order to plan safe and efficient mine development. This Bureau of Mines report discusses the use of surface seismic techniques for this purpose. At a southwestern Pennsylvania mine, a system of coalbed discontinu-ities (paleochannels) was accurately mapped by the Bureau of Mines using borehole log methods and underground observation. This site was chosen to test the value of a high-resolution surface seismic reflection on technique for coalbed mapping. A statistical study performed at this mine indicated that the probability of accurately delineating this paleochannel system with conventional borehole methods was remote. A total of 1.47 miles of high-resolution seismic survey, comprised of four seismic profiles, was conducted in known and suspected coalbed discontinuity areas. Several test holes were drilled on the seismic lines in order to evaluate the interpretations. It was found, based on these and other existing boreholes, that it is possible to predict these dis-continuities. Paleochannel washouts were correctly predicted in several instances but in other instances were either incorrectly predicted or not predicted in areas of known discontinuities.
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