Mining Publication: Timing and Duration of Subsidence Due to Longwall Mining
Subsidence data gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Mines over a series of longwall panels in the Pittsburgh Coalbed were studied to obtain insight as to the role of time in the subsidence process. It was found that subsidence began essentially with undermining and was completed within 1 year. The progress of the subsidence was dependent upon location above the panel. Subsidence in the central area of the subsidence trough, where subsidence is the greatest, was about 90 pct complete by the time the face had progressed a distance equal to one overburden thickness beyond a particular surface point. For a point over the rib of the longwall panel, the subsidence was only about 60 pct complete at this time. Data from three other sites in the northern Appalachian Coal Basin were analyzed to determine if an anomaly or the true characteristics of the subsidence process had been observed. All sites behaved similarly in the central portion of the subsidence trough. However, the subsidence of points over and adjacent to the ribs of the longwall panels was site specific. The fact that movement across the width of the panel was not uniform should be taken into account in assessing damages or the potential for damages resulting from mining-induced subsidence.