Coal Mine Hazard Detection Using In-Seam Ground-Penetrating-Radar Transillumination
Description:Underground coal mining is hazardous due to changing geological conditions. One geophysical method showing promise for in-seam hazard detection is ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The Bureau of Mines recently completed preliminary studies to demonstrate the feasibility of using GPR for in-seam hazard detection. Investigations included air and coal tests for the purpose of checking equipment accuracy, coal penetration, and other factors such as the effects of receiver orientation. Further investigations involved using both a short pulse and a new prototype synthetic-pulse system to locate a clay vein in a coal seam using trans-illumination. Data were gathered on multiple travel paths, and a back projection processing technique was then used to create a tomographic image using the calculated velocities. A computer model of the same coal seam was subsequently processed using the same tomographic tech-nique, and the results were compared with those of the actual data. Analysis of the tomographic images shows the presence of the clay vein, although its boundaries are unclear due to the tomography method used. Results of these preliminary studies show that GPR is feasible for use in in-seam hazard detection and point the direction that future research should take. A need has been shown for research involving more sophisticated tomography techniques, transmission studies on thicker coal seams, and reflection studies using the synthetic-pulse system.
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