ICGCM Papers:
Syd S. Peng Award Speakers
 
 
Streams and Longwall Coal Mining Subsidence: A Pennsylvania Perspective
30th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Streams and Longwall Coal Mining Subsidence: A Pennsylvania Perspective
by
Anthony T IannacchioneStephen J Tonsor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States
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[Conference] 30th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
[Price] Free  [Comments] 0
[Topical Area] Syd S. Peng Award Speakers
[Author] Anthony T IannacchioneStephen J Tonsor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States
[Abstract] Subsidence effects from underground coal mining require engineering solutions to help industry achieve environmental, economically and socially acceptability. As the criteria for sustaining the development of underground coal mining are continually redefined, i.e. new environmental regulations, mining cost, public support, etc., new engineering solutions are required. Sustainable development is fundamentally affected by the nature of coal bearing strata, the existing in-situ stress conditions and the ways these stratums deform and fail in response to mining. Therefore, geologists, biologist and engineers are playing a pivotal role in developing these engineering solutions.

To better understand the criteria for the sustainable development of this important natural resource, it is helpful to examine: a) the historical development of government regulations, especially those in Pennsylvania, and b) the mining industry’s actions to mitigate subsidence effects on surface structures, features and water sources. These examinations quickly reveal the roles of geology, in situ stresses and rock mechanics in shaping engineering solutions to these problems.

The challenges facing scientists and engineers in sustaining the development of underground coal mining in Pennsylvania are examined with five case studies. The key issues discussed in these case studies are: a) springs in headwater stream areas, b) stream gradients and subsidence basins, c) horizontal slope movements and the distance to mining, d) ground water disruption and depth-of-cover, and e) stream compression ruptures and horizontal stress. All of these case studies demonstrate the need for high-level scientific knowledge and innovative engineering solutions. They also suggest that future challenges exist as environmental regulations, economic conditions and societal expectations continue to evolve and change.