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Managing Excess Gas Emissions Associated With Coal Mine Geologic Features; Handbook For Methane Control In Mining
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    In This Chapter [Geologic features associated with anomalous methane emissions Gas outbursts and blowers Methane drainage strategies for mitigating anomalous methane emissions and General considerations for a methane drainage program] This chapter summarizes how certain geologic features may be associated with unexpected increases in gas emissions during coal mining. These unexpected emissions have the potential to create explosive conditions in the underground workplace. Also discussed are the generally used practices to alleviate potential hazards caused by gas emissions associated with these geologic features. INTRODUCTION Unforeseen mine gas emissions in quantities sufficient to create hazardous conditions have been attributed to sources outside the mined coalbed since the first documentation of methane explosions in coal mines [Payman and Statham 1930]. Geologic features such as faults have long been recognized as conduits for gas flow from strata adjacent to mined coalbeds [Moss 1927; Payman and Statham 1930]. Other features such as sandstone paleochannels, clay veins, and localized folding have also been recognized for their impact on gas emissions into mine work-ings [Darton 1915; Price and Headlee 1943; McCulloch et al. 1975; Ulery and Molinda 1984]. The fact that strata adjacent to mined coalbeds can emit large quantities of methane gas into mine workings is not surprising from a theoretical perspective. Many researchers have recognized that during the burial and diagenesis of the organic matter forming today’s minable coalbeds, similar dispersed organic matter in adjacent strata has produced methane in quantities far exceeding the storage capacity of the coal and surrounding rock [Juntgen and Klein 1975]. It is not surprising then that large quantities of methane can remain trapped in these strata. A potential hazard occurs when mining of a nearby coalbed causes pressure differentials and mining-induced fractures conducive to gas flow into the mine workings from these strata. This gas flow may be facilitated or temporarily impeded by the presence of geologic structures or anomalies.

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