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MINE

SUBSIDENCE
P.K.Behera
Dept. of Mining Engineering
Indian School of Mines
Dhanbad

Mine subsidence
Mine subsidence can be defined
as movement of the ground
surface
as
a
result
of
readjustments of the overburden
due to collapse or failure of
underground
mine
workings.
Surface
subsidence
features
usually take the form of either
continuous or discontinuous.

ANGLE
OF DRAW

(TROUGH
)

Mine subsidence
The extraction of ore/coal removes
support from the overlying strata
causing them to sag into the void
space created. The sag is propagated
upward to the surface; the maximum
surface subsidence can be no greater
than the thickness of the orebody/coal
seam mined. In coal seams/orebodies
that dip significantly subsidence can
exceed the thickness of the coal seam/
orebodies mined.

Mine subsidence
Subsidence
usually
occurs
gradually when it is concurrent
with mining.
After
mining, subsidence may
continue to occur in a steady,
gradual manner, or it may stop
for a period, to be followed by
failure at some later date.

Terminology and
Definitions Used in Mining
Subsidence

Angle of break: The angle between


the vertical and the point of maximum
tensile strain from the edge of the
underground working.
Angle of dip: Maximum and apparent
dip of deposit/ a coal seam.
Angle of draw or Limit Angle: The
angle between the vertical and the
edge of the subsidence trough from the
edge of the under ground working.

Terminology and
Definitions Used in Mining
Subsidence

Subsidence: The vertical movement of any


point on surface caused by a underground
excavation.
Maximum Subsidence: The maximum vertical
displacement within a subsidence trough caused
by an underground excavation on surface.
Maximum
Possible
Subsidence:
The
maximum subsidence in a given locality.
Subsidence Trough/Profile: The depression
formed by strata subsiding into an excavation.
Half-subsidence Point: The point in a
subsidence profile where the subsidence is half
of the maximum amplitude.

Terminology and
Definitions Used in Mining
Subsidence

Critical Width Depth Ratio: The width depth


ratio of extraction under ground which causes
complete subsidence (Maximum possible
subsidence) at a point on the surface.
Non Effective Width Depth Ratio (NEW):
The maximum width depth ratio of extraction
under ground which does not cause practically
any subsidence on the surface.
Sub-critical Width Depth Ratio: The width
depth ratio of extraction under ground which is
more than the non effective width depth ratio
but less than the critical width-depth ratio.
Extraction of sub critical width depth ratio
does not cause complete or maximum possible
subsidence over an area on the surface.

Critical, Supercritical, and

Terminology and
Definitions Used in Mining
Supercritical Subsidence
Width Depth Ratio: The width

depth ratio of extraction under ground which is more


than the critical width-depth ratio. Extraction of
super critical width-depth ratio causes complete or
maximum possible subsidence over an area on the
surface.
Curvature: The reciprocal of radius of curvature of
any part of subsidence profile.
Slope/Tilt of Subsidence Profile: The gradient
caused by subsidence between two points on a
subsidence profile. It is found by the ratio of
difference in subsidence at two points and the
distance between two points.
Strain: The change per unit length in the distance
between any two points on the surface in a specified
direction. The tensile strain is considered as positive
and compressive strain as negative.

Classification of Mine
Subsidence

Subsidence is classified broadly into


two types:
Discontinuous

subsidence
Continuous or trough subsidence
Depth of cover (h), working height (m)
and percent of extraction of
seam/orebody(e) have been identified to
kwon the type of subsidence (continuous
or discontinuous) likely to take place.

Discontinuous subsidence

Subsidence
is
termed
as
discontinuous when large surface
displacements over limited surface
area occur due to shear action,
which forms steps or discontinuities
in the surface profile.
It
may
develop
suddenly
or
progressively, and may occur on a
range of scales. Some of the types of
discontinuous subsidence are shown
in the Figure.

Discontinuous
subsidence

Crown hole

Solution
caving

Chimney
caving(sinkhole)

Plug caving

Types of discontinuous subsidence


Progressive
Block caving
caving

Types of Discontinuous Subsidence

Continuous or trough
subsidence

It involves the formation of a smooth


surface subsidence profile that is
free of step changes. This type of
subsidence is usually associated with
the extraction of thin horizontal or
flat-dipping orebodies overlain by
weak non-brittle sedimentary strata
mined by longwall method. This
occurs in most longwall coal mining
operations and in the metalliferous
longwall mining at depth

Rock mass movements associated with

Subsidence in Bord and


Pillar Mining
Two common forms of surface
subsidence arise

Subsidence holes and troughs are the


main forms of surface instability.
The former is defined by the creation
of sharply delineated surface sinkholes
(cave-ins) formed as a result of upward
progressing chimney-shaped failures
from mine junctions. These junctions
represent the largest mine roof spans

Subsidence in Bord and


Pillar Mining

Such failures are common when the roof


of the junctions between roadways, in
quadrilateral plans (squares, rectangles
and rhombohedron) fail to surface.
Irregular pillar distribution due to
variation in ore quality and thickness,
leads to troughs and subsidence hole
type failures owing to larger roof spans
and pillar failure.

Subsidence in Bord and


Pillar Mining

The second form of roof and pillar


induced subsidence resembles saucer
shaped troughs (mostly having discshaped profiles and usually not more
than 1 m at its center, extensive in area,
up to 300 m, depending on the extent of
underground pillar crushing) as a result
of multiple pillar failures. It is common
with wide room layouts, where narrow
rib pillars, will probably fail with time
leading to even wider roof failures.

Subsidence in Bord and


Pillar Mining

Underdesigning the pillars in terms of


strength can lead to gradual or
sudden surface subsidence.
In both cases these are timedependent developments which
normally occur after the pillars have
sufficiently crushed and that the roof
control elements have failed. Pillar
punching into mine floors also result
in trough subsidence.

Subsidence in Bord and


Pillar Mining

Flooding of coal mines after


abandonment can deteriorate
clay bearing lithologies (e.g.
Shale) which can lead to roof
and floor deterioration thereby
facilitating closure and rock
mass displacements and lead to
trough subsidence

Subsidence in Bord and Pillar Mining

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

These include
Thickness of extracted materials
Overlying mining areas
Depth of mining
Dip of mining deposit
Competence and nature of mined and
surrounding strata
Near surface geology
Geologic discontinuities
Fractures and lineaments

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

In-situ stresses
Degree of extraction
Surface topography
Ground water (including water
elevation and fluctuation)
Mine area
Method of mining
Rate of advance
Backfilling
Time

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence
Extraction Thickness

There is a direct relationship between the


thickness of the extracted materials/deposit
and the amount of surface subsidence that
may result, making it an important factor in
subsidence predictions. A greater thickness
results in a greater amount of surface
subsidence. The maximum possible surface
subsidence is
Smax = ma
where m is
height of extraction and a is a subsidence
factor that ranges from 0.10 to 0.9.

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

Multiple Section Working


Where multiple mining horizons exist,
subsidence which occurs in one area
increases the likelihood of similar
events in other areas, because the
strata have been disturbed.

Subsidence surface profile with multiple seam s

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

Width and Depth of Opening


The width and depth of an opening are
intimately related as far as surface
subsidence is concerned, because together
they determine the critical area or area of
influence. It is common practice to use the
ratio of width to depth.
U.K.National Coal Board found the
following three fundamental conditions
which influence the character of mining
subsidence profile for a longwall
development at the surface.

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

The width/depth (w /h) ratio < 1.4 for


subcritical underground extraction
The width/depth (w /h) ratio = 1.4 for
critical underground extraction
The width/depth (w /h) ratio > 1.4 for
supercritical underground extraction

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence
Competence of Mine Floor
and Roof
The mine roof and floor are critical
factors in the initiation of subsidence
events, since they propagate from
these areas. Weak roof materials
permit the fall of overlying strata, and
compact more easily, resulting in a
greater likelihood and severity of
subsidence.

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

Nature of Overburden
The strength of the overlying strata above
the mining horizon is a factor in the
timing and extent of subsidence.
Surface and Near-Surface Geology
Surface and near-surface soils and
unconsolidated materials tend to
enhance subsidence effects, because they
behave in an inconsistent manner. They
are an important factor relative to
hydrologic impacts because they affect
the exchange of surface water and
ground water

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence
Dip of Deposit

For inclined seams, the surface


trough subsidence is displaced
towards deeper edge of the
opening and, depending on
inclination, may be located outside
the dip edge of the opening.
Figure shows the variation of
angle of draw with the dip angle

Effect of seam inclination on angle of

Surface subsidence profiles for dipping seam

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence
Degree of Extraction
The amount of pillar support is directly
related to the timing and extent of
subsidence. Lower extraction ratios result
in greater thicknesses of pillars, which
tends to delay and decrease subsidence. As
the amount of pillar support is decreased,
either by mine design or as a result of
pillar extraction, subsidence occurs more
rapidly and extensively. Complete removal
of pillars is almost always followed by
subsidence, with surface manifestations
being a function of upward propagation to
the surface.

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

Angle of draw or Limit Angle


The surface position of the boundary
between areas of subsidence and no
subsidence is defined by the "angle of
draw."
The angle of draw varies from 8 to 45
degrees (25 to 35 degrees in most
instances) depending on the coalfields. The
larger the angle of draw the wider will be
the zone on the surface in which subsidence
should occur.
Angle of draw Indian coalfields: 4 - 21

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence
By using the largest of several possible
angles of draw a greater margin of
safety is established for those areas
lying outside the boundary of possible
subsidence.
There are indications that angle of
draw may depend on depth, seam
thickness, and local geology, especially
major faults or fracture planes or self
supporting strata above the coal seam.

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence
Geologic Discontinuities
Faults, folds, and other inconsistencies in
the overlying and surrounding strata may
increase subsidence potential. The
disturbance of equilibrium forces by mining
can trigger movement along a fault plane.
Faults may also weaken the overlying strata
and trigger subsidence in materials that
may otherwise show desirable properties.
Joints and fissures in the strata also affect
subsidence but on a smaller scale.

Effect of faults on subsidence

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence
Surface
Topography
Sloping ground like hillsides tends to emphasize
the surface manifestation of subsidence, while it
is less accentuated on flatter ground and in
valleys.

Ground Water
Drainage gradients may be altered by disturbance
of the strata around mine areas. Rocks may
become weakened by saturation and erosion
patterns could change. Where surface water is
present, it may migrate more easily to fractures
and fissures in the strata and into the mine area
and may induce subsidence. The creation of a
cavity as a result of mining results in subsidence.

Migration of water in subsided


area

Influence of surface slope on

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

Water Level and Fluctuations


The strength and stiffness of the overlying and
surrounding rock strata, and any pillars left in
the mining area, are significantly reduced by
the effects of water.
Mining Method
The extent and magnitude of subsidence is
limited by techniques such as bord-and-pillar
mining, which limits the extent of extraction.
The timing and extent of subsidence in bordand-pillar mines is not predictable, and
eventual collapse of pillars in bord-and-pillar
mining may lead to trenching or sagging of the
surface, with considerable displacement and
strain over short distances.

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence
Backfilling

Partial or complete mine backfilling


reduces subsidence and is
dependent upon the type and extent
of backfilling.
However, it is important to note that
backfilling does not eliminate
subsidence

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

Time Effects
The period during which mine
subsidence occurs consists of two
distinct
Active and
Residual phases
Active subsidence occurs
simultaneously with mining, whereas
residual subsidence occurs after
mining.

The curve indicates maximum subsidence at P as a function


of the face location
Subsidence at P begins when the face is 0.7h ahead of P
Subsidence accelerates when the face is about 0.3h ahead of point
P, reaching 15.5%
Subsidence at P reaches 97.5% when the face is 0.7h beyond point
P(active subsidence is complete)
The remaining 2 to 3% is due to gradual compaction of subsided
ground is known as residual subsidence

Factors Influencing Mine


Subsidence

The duration of residual subsidence is


important from the standpoint of gauging
the duration and extent of environmental
impacts, including the extent of liability
for post-mining subsidence
The actual time involved depends on a
number of factors
According to some researchers, prediction
of when or how much damage may occur
becomes difficult. There are documented
cases of mine subsidence occurring 100
years after mines were abandoned

Impact of Mine
Subsidence

Loss of water in surface water


bodies(pond, river, nallah, jores etc)
Depletion of water retention
capability of sub-surface water table
Depletion of water retention
capability of aquifers
Damage of buildings on surface
Damage of rope ways
Damage of high tension pylons
Damage of u/g cables

Impact of Mine
Subsidence

Damage of u/g pipe lines


Damage of overlying virgin seams
Damage of overlying workings
Leakage of air, water and fire into u/g working
Pollution of surface atmosphere due to
harmful gasses from u/g to surface
Depletion of water retention capability of subsoil
Reduction in agricultural yield
Damage of forest

Mine Subsidence prediction


Techniques

For mining engineers the prediction of


mine subsidence is very important during
the planning and execution stages of any
underground mining operation.
Considerable research is being carried out
for predicting mine subsidence.
However, researcher have been successful
in developing techniques mostly for
continuous mine subsidence rather than
discontinuous types.

Mine Subsidence prediction


Techniques

Subsidence prediction techniques can be


divided into two main types:
Empirical and
Analytical
Empirical techniques are based largely on a
combination of experience and the detailed
analysis of a large number of observed
ground movements.
Analytical
methods
have
not
found
widespread acceptance due to the difficulty
of determining the material properties of the
overburden rocks and the necessity for
making simplifying assumptions to simulate
complex field problems

Empirical technique
NCB Graphical Method
The most comprehensive and widely
used empirical method of predicting
subsidence and surface strain profiles
is that developed by the National Coal
Board (NCB) of UK. NCB graphical
method was derived from the analysis
of extensive field database collected
over the years from a variety of mining
conditions.

NCB graphical method

Essentially, the data were summarized


the form of a series of non-dimension
graphs, where the subsidence is related
to ratio of the longwall face width to the
depth of working and the subsidence
parameter (vertical displacement and
horizontal stress) are calculated from
this ratio.
An example: The figure shows a graph
for predicting subsidence in a location
where width and height of extraction is
known for a given depth of the seam.

NCB graphical method

CMRI Nomogram Method


CMRI has developed a nomogram
and the following equations for
prediction of subsidence in
Indian coal mines:
Smax S
=max500 (1+ M)S(maxe. (for
h. a.
Gmax 2.0
E max 1.0
compressive)
m)
h
h

S max
E max 1.05
h

( for tensile)

CMRI Nomogram Method

where Smax = maximum possible


subsidence in mm
M = rock mass factor ( see Table 2)
e = extraction percentage factor ( see
Table 1)
a = goaf treatment factor ( see Table 1)
h = depth factor ( see Table 1)
m = extraction thickness in m
Gmax = maximum possible slope in mm/m
Emax = maximum possible strain in mm/m
h = depth of panel from surface in m

Table 1: Subsidence Parameters

Value
Parameter
e

Percentage of
extraction

40

50

60

0.1

0.25 0.40

Goaf
treatment
a

Depth
h

70

80

90

100

0.60 0.80 0.95

Caving

Hydraulic
stowing

0.95

0.07-0.10*

<250 m

251-400
m

> 400 m

1.00

1.10

1.15

*0.07 for seams steeper than 1 in 5.

Table 2: Rock mass factor


Nature of Strata

Rock
mass
factor M

1.

Totally disturbed strata1

1.0

2.

Partially disturbed strata with the thickness of intact strata 0.9


being less than five times the seam thickness under extraction

3.

Partially disturbed strata with the thickness of intact strata 0.8


being more than five times the seam thickness under
extraction

4.

Naturally weak and disturbed strata2

0.7

5.

Strata having interbedded layers of sandstones and shales

0.6

6.

Strata having predominantly sandstone beds

0.5

Sl. No.

1.Strata

having predominantly clays, shales, mud-stones, etc.


2.As in case of thick seam mining by descending slicing when the top
slice has been extracted with caving and the next slice is under
consideration.

CMRI NOMOGRAM

Profile Function
Technique

The profile function technique is


based a curve fitting procedure that
employ
mathematical
profile
function to match the observed
subsidence data. Once a fit is
established, through the use of
actual field data the function is used
to predict subsidence profiles over
future areas of mining.

Profile Function
Technique

A number of different mathematical functions have


been developed for critical mining areas by
different researchers, but all functions fit the
general form.

s( x) f ( Smax B, x, d )

where s(x) = subsidence at point x, Smax=


subsidence at the panel centre (Maximum possible
subsidence),
B =critical radius or one-half of critical width,
x =horizontal distance from the point of halfmaximum subsidence to panel centre,
d =distance between the point of half-maximum
possible subsidence and edge of the opening

Influence Function
Technique

The influence function method


considers an extracted opening to be
composed of an infinite number of
small openings or elements. Each
small element/opening produces an
individual surface subsidence profile,
and their summation is the total
subsidence profile. The influence is
maximum when the element is directly
below
the
surface
point
being
considered. It becomes minimum when
the element is near the edge.

Influence Function
Technique
The subsidence of a surface point

The subsidence of a surface point


can therefore be obtained by
integrating the influences of all
the infinitesimal elements of the
excavation.
The
method
is
extremely versatile and suffers
B
none
of
the
geometrical
In mathematical form S max 2 0 r P r dr
restrictions
of
the
profile
function
Where, P (r) = Influence function of an element dA on a surface point P
r = Radial distance from a surface point where maximum
subsidence (Smax) occurs
B = Critical radius

Superposition of infinitesimal

Analytical Techniques
Some of the commonly used
methods
Closed from elastic solution
Numerical methods
Mechanistic models

Closed from elastic


solution

One method of studying subsidence


development is to assume that the
strata
displacement
behaves
according to one of the constitutive
equations of continuum mechanics
over most of its range. In this context,
the continuum theories were evolved
from the analysis of a displacement
discontinuity produced by a slit in an
infinite half-space elastic media.

Closed from elastic


solution

Analytical procedures were subsequently


developed
for
three
types
of
underground excavation based on elastic
ground conditions: (1) non-closure
(2) partial closure and
(3) complete closure.
Additional work extended the closed
form solution to transversely isotropic
ground conditions in both two and three
dimensions.

Numerical Methods
Numerical models provide an
excellent
tool
for
the
quantitative
analysis
of
subsidence
and
strata
mechanics problems and are not
subject to the same restrictive
assumptions required for the
closed form analytical solutions

Numerical Methods

Finite element modelling is commonly applied


to subsidence problems since it can readily
accommodate non-homogeneous media, nonlinear material behaviour and complicated
mine geometries.
Alternatively, finite difference models can be
used
for
the
large
strain,
non-linear
phenomena
associated
with
subsidence
development.
Other elastic approaches employing numerical
techniques include displacement discontinuity,
boundary integral and boundary element
methods

Mechanistic Models
The void-volume model proposes that the
actions of discrete deformational and collapse
mechanisms are the primary modes influencing
subsidence development. However, to facilitate
this approach the actual collapse mechanisms
must be known and physical models
constructed to simulate the process. The effect
of scaling factors on this type of model must
therefore raise questions concerning the
validity of the results, especially since different
types of material behaviour are involved in the
collapse mechanism.

Control and Prevention


Mine Subsidence

Partial extraction
Goaf treatment
Harmonic extraction
Safety pillars
Rapid Mining

Partial extraction

Partial extraction involves leaving


protective features such as pillars.
The pillars are left between panels,
has been successfully used to limit
maximum subsidence. Depending on
the lay out and the extraction ratio,
reductions in maximum subsidence
in order of 80% may be achieved.

Goaf Treatment
Backfilling by hydraulic or pneumatic
techniques, using a variety of
materials including run of mine
waste rock, milled tailings, sand,
cemented backfilling material or other
materials can reduce the subsidence
up to 50% depending on the nature
and timing of treatment.

Influence of filling on

Borehole Grouting from

Harmonic Extraction
It involves the phased removal of
the mineral from a critical area
such that the ground surface is
smoothly and horizontal strain is
minimized. Harmonic extraction
requires that the panel be advanced
in at least two faces maintained at a
carefully calculated distance apart.

Extraction with
staggered faces

Safety Pillars
Safety pillars are the solid pillars left
untouched to protect surface structures
located directly above. The size of the
safety pillar can be determined by
horizontal distance from a surface structure
at which the advancing face must stop so
that total strain at the site of the surface
structure is less than the allowable values.
The size of the safety pillar depends on the
seam depth from the surface.

Rapid Mining
The maximum tensile strain (Et) travelling
with an advancing face is generally less than
the final obtainable tensile strain, Emax and
faster the mining, the less Et is.
Furthermore, the maximum compressive
strain accompanied with the travelling face
is always less than the corresponding
maximum tensile strain, Et . Therefore there
exists
a
minimum
rate
of
mining
characteristic of each coalfield that will
induced maximum tensile traveling stain
less than the allowable one

Travelling and final surface strain