Mining Publication: Shale Failure Mechanics and Intervention Measures in Underground Coal Mines: Results from 50 Years of Ground Control Safety Research

Original creation date: February 2016

Authors: MM Murphy

Peer Reviewed Journal Article - February 2016

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20046962

Rock Mech Rock Eng 2016 Feb; 49(2):661-671

Ground control research in underground coal mines has been ongoing for over 50 years. One of the most problematic issues in underground coal mines is roof failures associated with weak shale. This paper will present a historical narrative on the research the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has conducted in relation to rock mechanics and shale. This paper begins by first discussing how shale is classified in relation to coal mining. Characterizing and planning for weak roof sequences is an important step in developing an engineering solution to prevent roof failures. Next, the failure mechanics associated with the weak characteristics of shale will be discussed. Understanding these failure mechanics also aids in applying the correct engineering solutions. The various solutions that have been implemented in the underground coal mining industry to control the different modes of failure will be summarized. Finally, a discussion on current and future research relating to rock mechanics and shale is presented. The overall goal of the paper is to share the collective ground control experience of controlling roof structures dominated by shale rock in underground coal mining.

Cover page for Shale Failure Mechanics and Intervention Measures in Underground Coal Mines: Results From 50 Years of Ground Control Safety Research
Peer Reviewed Journal Article - February 2016

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20046962

Rock Mech Rock Eng 2016 Feb; 49(2):661-671


Page last reviewed: 6/2/2016 Page last updated: 6/2/2016