ICGCM Papers:
Operator Case Histories
 
 
Characteristics of Coal Bursts in the North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River Valley, Colorado
31st International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Characteristics of Coal Bursts in the North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River Valley, Colorado
by
Christopher Mark, USdol - MSHA, Pittsburgh, United StatesSandin PhillipsonPaul TyrnaMichael Gauna, MSHA, Triadelphia, United States
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[Conference] 31st International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
[Price] Free  [Comments] 0
[Topical Area] Operator Case Histories
[Author] Christopher Mark, USdol - MSHA, Pittsburgh, United StatesSandin PhillipsonPaul TyrnaMichael Gauna, MSHA, Triadelphia, United States
[Abstract] 
Problem Statement:
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Coal bursts are defined as the sudden, violent ejection of coal or rock into the mine opening. Coal mines in Colorado’s North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River have a long history of coal bursts in a wide variety of settings. These have included longwall and room-and-pillar, development and retreat, and single- and multiple-seam mining. In contrast to other areas, where bursts are typically associated with strong, massive sandstone and extremely high stress, many bursts in the valley have occurred beneath shale roof and some distance from the most highly stressed locations.
Objective of the Paper:
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The goal of this paper is to attempt a systematic study of the entire burst history in the North Fork Valley, in order to gain insight into their characteristics and causes.
Key Findings:
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The primary sources of information are the reports of investigations conducted by MSHA’s Roof Control Division over the past 15 years. The paper provides details on the geologic mapping conducted as part of these investigations, as well as a regional plot of burst locations using a Geographic Information System. The mapping indicates that many of the North Fork Valley’s bursts have been associated with “structural features” including low-angled faults and well-defined fracture zones. Some of these features appear to extend for several miles, impacting more than one mine. Some implications for mine planning are discussed.
Key Conclusions:
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The mapping indicates that many of the North Fork Valley’s bursts have been associated with “structural features” including low-angled faults and well-defined fracture zones. Some of these features appear to extend for several miles, impacting more than one mine. Some implications for mine planning are discussed.