Investigation on the characteristics of overlying strata caving in the Chengchao Iron Mine, China

  • Yangyang Deng
  • Congxin Chen
  • Kaizong Xia
  • Kuoyu Yang
  • Chaoyi Sun
  • Xianwei Zheng
Original Article


In this study, a comprehensive assessment of the overlying strata caving characteristics of mental mines is conducted for the non-pillar sublevel caving method, especially considering the geological features and rock mass characteristics. In general, the overlying strata caving process can be divided into four stages: the intermittent roof caving stage, the crack extension and surface subsidence stage, the karst collapse stage, and the mining-induced collapse stage. Roof caving is an intermittent process, with higher caving occurring in stronger rock masses, and occurs more easily in weaker rock masses. Due to gaps generated in the overlying rock mass, the bulking coefficient of the overlying strata is much greater than the laboratory-measured value; it also varies with the mining advance lines. During the crack extension and surface subsidence stage, the surface deformation is less extensive when the rock strength is greater, and the gradient of surface deformation is lower when the rock mass integrity is lower. Thus, higher mining height and lower rock mass quality result in greater surface deformation. Furthermore, weak planes, such as faults and joints, can help to generate fissures in weathered rock masses; these fissures create passageways for groundwater flow, which accelerates crack extension and connection in reverse. In addition, surface collapses can be divided into karst collapses and mining-induced collapses. Because a large number of fissures and a high karst rate create favorable conditions for karst collapse, significant variations in groundwater levels can induce karst collapse at the surface, with high negative pressure forming in the karst caves. Mining-induced collapses are mainly related to the mining depth, mining height, and the properties of the overlying rock mass. Underground mining is a major factor in surface collapse, and heavy rainfall can induce a delayed but sudden collapse.


Metal mines Roof caving Surface collapse Rainfall Rock properties 



This research was supported by the Natural Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC0805307). Grateful appreciation is expressed to it.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yangyang Deng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Congxin Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kaizong Xia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kuoyu Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chaoyi Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xianwei Zheng
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Chengchao Iron Mine of Wuhan Iron and Steel Mining Co., LtdEzhouChina

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