Simulation analysis of the impact of excavation backfill on permafrost recovery in an opencast coal-mining pit

  • Wei Cao
  • Yu Sheng
  • Jichun Wu
  • Jing Li
  • Jinping Li
  • Yaling Chou
Original Article


The article attempts to investigate the status of permafrost recovery after excavation backfill in an opencast coal mine. To do that, we forecast the permafrost recovery under certain initial temperatures and different boundary conditions by using the numerical simulation method. The results show that the filling temperature significantly influences permafrost recovery after backfilling. When the filling temperature decreases from +2.0 to −2.0 °C, the permafrost recovery rate will greatly accelerate, and the permafrost thickness will significantly increase. When the surface temperature of the filling is positive, the permafrost recovery at the bottom of the excavation will be more difficult than when the temperature is negative. The permafrost recovery rate will be slow, and the permafrost thickness will be thin. The permafrost recovery also gradually speeds up the thickening with decreasing natural surface temperature. Thus, backfilling should be conducted in the cold season, and cooling treatment should be applied to the filling before backfilling. The treatment will ensure that the permafrost recovery is faster and more stable. This measure is also conducive to the recovery of the ecological environment of the mine.


Simulation analysis Excavation backfill Impact analysis Permafrost recovery Opencast coal-mining pit 



The authors are grateful for valuable comments and suggestions from the anonymous referees. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41271084 and 41501079), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Key Research Program (No. KZZD-EW-13), the Project Funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2015M582724), the Chongqing Postdoctoral Special Funding Research Projects (No. Xm2015082), and the Chongqing Postdoctoral Daily Funding Projects (No. Rc201519).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Cao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yu Sheng
    • 1
  • Jichun Wu
    • 1
  • Jing Li
    • 1
  • Jinping Li
    • 3
  • Yaling Chou
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil EngineeringCold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CASLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Land Resources and Housing Surveying and Planning InstituteChongqingChina
  3. 3.CCCC First Highway Consultants Co., LTDXianChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in Civil Engineering of Gansu ProvinceLanzhou University of TechnologyLanzhouChina

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