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The Occurrence and Characterization of Geological Anomalies and Cutter Roof Failure: Their Effect on Gateroad Stability.

Iannacchione AT; Popp JT; Rulli JA
Ch 24 in 2nd Int'l Conf on Stability in Underground Mng Soc Min Eng AIME 1984 :428-45
According to this U.S. Bureau of Mines study, anomalous geological features in the coal and surrounding strata of a mine in northern West Virginia have fractured and deformed an inherently weak roof rock prior to mining. Horizontal stresses, as much as six times greater than overburden-related horizontal stresses, have induced cutter roof failure. This failure was distinguishable from rock deformation associated with geological anomalies because it was induced by mining. The characterization of these features has allowed for the prediction of zones of unstable roof rock and the determination of failure trends on gateroad stability. Geological anomalies included clastic dikes and a narrow zone of sandstone roof. Clastic dikes, representing intrusions of shale and claystone, were invariably accompanied by local roof rock instability and often formed the boundaries of roof falls. Shale was the dominant roof lithology except where a small sandstone occurred in the northwest portion of the longwall mining area. The sandstone occurs in two phases: a sandstone-filled channel, 5 m thick and 60 m wide, that eroded and replaced the shale roof and the upper part of the coalbed, and a sheet sandstone unit that was crossbedded to interbedded with the underlying shale. Horizontal stresses are naturally relieved through the initiation of cutter roof failure. This failure may extend from a few meters to several tens of meters horizontally, and from a few centimeters to several meters vertically. Orientations of entries and crosscuts have a greater influence on the direction and
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 88-89
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Ch. 24 in 2nd Int'l Conf. on Stability in Underground Mng; Soc. Min. Eng. AIME, 1984, Pp 428-45
Page last reviewed: November 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division