Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 5, pp 2263–2270 | Cite as

Detection and monitoring of water-filled voids using transient electromagnetic method: a case study in Shanxi, China

  • G. Q. Xue
  • J. L. Cheng
  • N. N. Zhou
  • W. Y. Chen
  • H. Li
Original Article


Shanxi Province is a major coal base for the rapid development in China, but heavy production of coal resources has left abundant water-filled voids, creating significant geologic hazards around coal mines. It is necessary to quickly investigate the position and distribution of voids with effective geophysical methods. The feasibility of transient electromagnetic (TEM) method in detecting and monitoring water-filled voids is analyzed using 3D finite-element numerical simulation results as well as a case study in this paper. The case study was mainly to analyze and monitor the conditions around the site of a power transfer station under construction in the west of Shanxi province where many water-filled, mined-out voids existed. Central-loop TEM sounding was carried out three times from January 2010 to April 2011 around the building footprint. The low resistivity abnormal area had been repeatedly located and the survey results showed that the area of voids increased with time, which indicated that the ground at the site was in an unstable and dangerous state. The surveys provided more detailed geological information to the government for further safety arrangement and building re-design.


Transient electromagnetic method Mined-out void Building stability Monitoring 



This project was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (project No 41174090, 41174108 and 41130419). Many thanks to Prof. Andrew Duncan, who is the managing director of electromagnetic imaging technology Pty. Ltd. (EMIT), for improving the English. The authors extend their gratitude to the editor and reviewers for their editorial suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Q. Xue
    • 1
  • J. L. Cheng
    • 2
  • N. N. Zhou
    • 1
  • W. Y. Chen
    • 1
  • H. Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mineral ResourcesInstitute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources & Safe MiningChina University of Mining & Technology (Beijing)BeijingChina

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