Assessing support alternatives for longwall gateroads subject to changing stress
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Assessing support alternatives for longwall gateroads subject to changing stress

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  • Alternative Title:
    Int J Min Sci Technol
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    Longwall gateroad entries are subject to changing horizontal and vertical stress induced by redistribution of loads around the extracted panel. The stress changes can result in significant deformation of the entries that may include roof sag, rib dilation, and floor heave. Mine operators install different types of supports to control the ground response and maintain safe access and ventilation of the longwall face. This paper describes recent research aimed at quantifying the effect of longwall-induced stress changes on ground stability and using the information to assess support alternatives. The research included monitoring of ground and support interaction at several operating longwall mines in the U.S., analysis and calibration of numerical models that adequately represent the bedded rock mass, and observation of the support systems and their response to changes in stress. The models were then used to investigate the impact of geology and stress conditions on ground deformation and support response for various depths of cover and geologic scenarios. The research results were summarized in two regression equations that can be used to estimate the likely roof deformation and height of roof yield due to longwall-induced stress changes. This information is then used to assess the ability of support systems to maintain the stability of the roof. The application of the method is demonstrated with a retrospective analysis of the support performance at an operating longwall mine that experienced a headgate roof fall. The method is shown to produce realistic estimates of gateroad entry stability and support performance, allowing alternative support systems to be assessed during the design and planning stage of longwall operations.
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