Studying the stress redistribution around the longwall mining panel using passive seismic velocity tomography and geostatistical estimation

Abstract

Generally, knowledge of stress redistribution around the longwall panel causes a better understanding of the mechanisms that lead to ground failure, especially to rockbursts. In this paper, passive seismic velocity tomography is used to demonstrate the state of stress around the longwall mining panel. The mining-induced microseismic events were recorded by mounting an array of receivers on the surface, above the active panel. To determine the location of seismic events and execute the process of tomography, double-difference method is employed as a local earthquake tomography. Since passive sources are used, the ray coverage is insufficient to achieve the quality images required. The wave velocity is assumed to be the regionalized variable and it is therefore estimated in a denser network, by using geostatistical estimation method. Subsequently, the three-dimensional images of wave velocity are created and are sliced into the coal seam. These images clearly illustrate the stressed zones that they are appropriately in compliance with the theoretical models. Such compliance is particularly apparent in the front abutment pressure and the side abutment pressure near the tailgate entry. Movements of the stressed zones along the advancing face are also evident. The research conclusion proves that the combined method, based on double-difference tomography and geostatistical estimation, can potentially be used to monitor stress changes around the longwall mining panel continuously. Such observation could lead to substantial improvement in both productivity and safety of mining operations.

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Correspondence to Navid Hosseini.

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Hosseini, N., Oraee, K., Shahriar, K. et al. Studying the stress redistribution around the longwall mining panel using passive seismic velocity tomography and geostatistical estimation. Arab J Geosci 6, 1407–1416 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-011-0443-z

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Keywords

  • Longwall mining
  • Passive seismic velocity tomography
  • Double-difference method
  • Geostatistical estimation
  • Stress redistribution