The effects of the pressure arch upon multiple seam mining

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The coal fields of Appalachia of many contiguously mineable coal seams. Common practice in mining multiple seams is to extract the seams in a descending order. However, the mining sequence may still be based on seam ownership, availability of the seam and the general economic situation, net on ground control considerations.

One of the major ground control mechanisms that must be considered in the design of a mine is the arching of stresses around a previously mined lower seam. This investigation deals with the extent and magnitude of the stresses above an underground opening. The finite element approach was utilized to determine the extent and magnitude of stresses for various widths of mine opening, depths of cover and overburden material. This information can then be used as an approximation of the stresses that may be encountered in an actual mining situation.