Environmental Earth Sciences

, 77:772 | Cite as

Development law of air leakage fractures in shallow coal seams: a case study in the Shendong Coalfield of China

  • Hui Zhuo
  • Botao QinEmail author
  • Quanlin Shi
  • Lin Li
Original Article


Continuous air leakage from ground mining-induced cracks is a significant cause of coal spontaneous combustion, low oxygen at the working face and other disasters in shallow coal seams. This paper studies mining-induced cracks and air leakage caused by the repeated mining of shallow coal seams at the Bulianta coal mine, Shendong Coalfield, China. A similar simulation experiment was carried out in the laboratory, and then the ground mining-induced cracks were observed and the crack air leakage was detected. The results showed that the surface air flowed into the composite goaf before the fractures redeveloped to the surface during the process of lower coal seam mining. Due to the different development processes of vertical fractures in various regions, the width of the vertical fractures in the boundary area of the overlying goaf increases significantly after the repeated mining of coal seams, while the vertical fractures in the central area of the overlying goaf experience almost no change. The distribution of the surface air leakage cracks is in the shape of “回”. Graben-type cracks and half-graben-type cracks are surface air leakage cracks, which are the focus of surface air leakage problems, especially the half-graben-type cracks. The results are important in engineering for reducing air leakage from surface mining-induced cracks.


Shallow coal seams Ground mining-induced cracks Surface air leakage Similar simulation experiment Field air leakage detection 



This work was supported by the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (Project nos. 51825402), The National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project nos. 51476184).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Coal Methane and Fire ControlChina University of Mining and Technology, Ministry of EducationXuzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe MiningChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  3. 3.School of Safety EngineeringChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina

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