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Subsidence investigations over salt-solution mines, Hutchinson, Kansas.
Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9083, 1986 Jan; :1-23
The Bureau of Mines in cooperation with the Solution Mining Research Institute conducted surface and subsurface investigations over five solution-mined salt cavities in the Hutchinson, Kansas, area. The purpose of these investigations was to determine the mechanisms that lead to the formation of sinkholes above collapsed solution cavities. Of the five salt-solution cavities investigated, four had collapsed and produced sinkholes prior to the time of the investigations; the fifth cavity was considered stable. Exploratory drilling and coring operations were conducted at all five sites; surface stability monitoring was conducted at three of them. The results of these studies indicate that excessive dissolution at the salt-shale contact of each collapsed cavity produced large unsupported roof spans that ultimately exceeded the structural integrity of the overburden. The stable cavity was not exposed to excessive dissolution at the salt-shale contact; this limited the roof span and ensured a stable cavity. The data also show that surface settlement in the vicinity of the two surface-monitored sinkholes continued for approximately 7 years after the sinkholes formed, indicating that the rubble piles of the collapsed cavities were undergoing gradual consolidation.
Subsurface-investigations; Rock-salt-deposits; Subsidence; Solution-mining; Sinkholes; Mining-industry
IH; Information Circular
NTIS Accession No.
Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9083
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division