A General Review on Longwall Mining-Induced Fractures in Near-Face Regions

Published on Apr 11, 2019in Geofluids1.534
· DOI :10.1155/2019/3089292
Qingsheng Bai14
Estimated H-index: 14
(CUMT: China University of Mining and Technology),
Shihao Tu19
Estimated H-index: 19
(CUMT: China University of Mining and Technology)
It is believed that underground longwall mining usually produces fractures in the surrounding rocks. On the one hand, mining-induced fractures not only degrade the strength of the rock mass but also serve as main channels for fluids (e.g., water and methane). Fractures facilitate the failure of the rock mass and fluid inrush into working spaces. Therefore, mining-induced fractures are significant for the safety evaluation of underground structures and finding feasible solutions. On the other hand, the fractures are also beneficial for methane collection and coal fragmentation, which are essential for the successful operation of longwall top coal caving mining. Therefore, determining the characteristics of induced fractures is significant for underground longwall mining. From a global perspective, longwall mining-induced fractures in the overburden have been well studied, which improves the understanding of the mining pressure and ground control. However, induced fractures near the longwall face, which have more significant effects on mining activities, have not been summarized. The goal of this review paper is to provide a general summary of the current achievements in characterizing mining-induced fractures in near-face regions. The characteristics of mining-induced fractures in the coal wall, chain pillar, immediate roofs and top coal, and floors are reviewed and summarized. Remarks are made on the current progress of, fundamental problems with, and developments in methodologies for characterizing mining-induced fractures using methods such as field observations, small-scale laboratory tests, physical modeling, and numerical modeling. Based on a comprehensive analysis, the advantages and disadvantages of each method are discussed, and the ideal conditions for applying each of these methods are also recommended.
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