Interactions Between Multiple Seam Longwall and Room-and-Pillar Operations - A Case Study in Boone County, WV
Description:In order to reduce waste and improve resource conservation, mine planning, and development, the U.S. Bureau of Mines is investigating the effects of multiple seam interactions associated with longwall coal mining. Field investigations were conducted at a mine located in Boone County, WV, where a longwall panel was operating subjacent to room-and-pillar workings in an overlying seam. To assess the effects of overlying workings on longwall headgate stability, the Bureau gathered various geotechnical information at this minesite. Headgate pillars and entries were instrumented and monitored to study their behavior during side-abutment loading as the longwall panel approached and passed beneath the overlying room-and-pillar developments. The two operations are separated by 800 ft of interburden, and although interactions between operations separated by this distance are uncommon, geomechanical measurements indicate the occurrence of an interaction. These measurements show that convergence on the headgate entries was most adverse subjacent to barrier pillars in the overlying mine. Pillar measurements indicate that side-abutment pressure increases were slightly greater than predicted values. Several factors related to both geology and mine design, believed responsible for this large interactive distance, are discussed.
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