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Experience With The Boundary-Element Method Of Numerical Modeling To Resolve Complex Ground Control Problems; Proceedings Of The Second International Workshop On Coal Pillar Mechanics And Design
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    The Mine Safety and Health Administration, Pittsburgh Safety and Health Technology Center, Roof Control Division, is routinely involved in the evaluation of ground conditions in underground coal mines. Assessing the stability of mined areas and the compatibility of mining plans with existing conditions is essential to ensuring a safe working environment for mine workers at a given site. Since 1985, the Roof Control Division has successfully used the boundary-element method of numerical modeling to aid in the resolution of complex ground control problems. This paper presents an overview of the modeling methodology and details of techniques currently used to generate coal seam, rock mass, and gob backfill input data. A summary of coal and rock properties used in numerous successful evaluations throughout the United States is included, and a set of deterioration indices that can aid in the quantification of in-mine ground conditions and verification of model accuracy is introduced. Finally, a case study is detailed that typifies the complexity of mining situations analyzed and illustrates various techniques that can be used to evaluate prospective design alternatives.
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