Acta Geophysica

, Volume 66, Issue 5, pp 1001–1009 | Cite as

Dispersion features of transmitted channel waves and inversion of coal seam thickness

  • Ze’an HuEmail author
  • Pingsong Zhang
  • Guangquan Xu
Research Article - Applied Geophysics


In-seam seismic survey currently is a hot geophysical exploration technology used for the prediction of coal seam thickness in China. Many studies have investigated the relationship between the group velocity of channel wave at certain frequency and the actual thickness of exposed coal beds. But these results are based on statistics and not universally applicable to predict the thickness of coal seams. In this study, we first theoretically analyzed the relationship between the depth and energy distribution of multi-order Love-type channel waves and found that when the channel wave wavelength is smaller than the thickness of the coal seam, the energy is more concentrated, while when the wavelength is greater than the thickness, the energy reduces linearly. We then utilized the numerical simulation technology to obtain the signal of the simulated Love-type channel wave, analyzed its frequency dispersion, and calculated the theoretical dispersion curves. The results showed that the dispersion characteristics of the channel wave are closely related to the thickness of coal seam, and the shear wave velocity of the coal seam and its surrounding rocks. In addition, we for the first time realized the joint inversion of multi-order Love-type channel waves based on the genetic algorithm and inversely calculated the velocities of shear wave in both coal seam and its surrounding rocks and the thickness of the coal seam. In addition, we found the group velocity dispersion curve of the single-channel transmitted channel wave using the time–frequency analysis and obtained the phase velocity dispersion curve based on the mathematical relationship between the group and phase velocities. Moreover, we employed the phase velocity dispersion curve to complete the inversion of the above method and obtain the predicted coal seam thickness. By comparing the geological sketch of the coal mining face, we found that the predicted coal seam thickness is in good agreement with the actual thickness. Overall, adopting the channel wave inversion method that creatively uses the complete dispersion curve can obtain the shear wave velocities of the coal and its surrounding rocks, and analyzing the depth of the abruptly changed shear wave velocity can accurately obtain the thickness of the coal seam. Therefore, our study proved that this inversion method is feasible to be used in both simulation experiments and actual detection.


Love-type channel wave Energy distribution High-order dispersion Coal seam thickness prediction 



This work was supported by the Major Project on Natural Science Study of the Department of Education, Anhui Province (No. KJ2016SD17), the Scientific Research Activity Funding Project for Leaders in Academics and Technology in Anhui Province (No. 2016D079), and the National Natural Science Foundation (No. 41604082). Special thanks are given to the anonymous reviewers for their assistance, comments, and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences & Polish Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Earth and EnvironmentAnhui University of Science and TechnologyHuainanChina

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