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A Study of Floor Heave in the Mines of the Southern Coalfield of New South Wales by Two Dimensional Finite Element Modelling

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Author Bhattacharyya AK and Seneviratne SP
ID P199207010

Description

The excessive displacement of the seam floor in headings (i.e. roadways) called ‘floor-heave’ is often experienced in the underground mines of the Southern Coalfield of New South Wales. Apart from interfering with the mining operations, the phenomenon could be detrimental to the stability of the pillars left for support leading to an unpredictable increase in the subsidence of the overlying strata. The latter could pose a serious problem, particularly in the design of partial extraction layouts of mining for areas where subsidence is to be controlled. The susceptibility of the floor of different rock materials and thicknesses in a given `panel and pillar’ partial extraction geometry was examined by two- dimensional Finite Element Modelling of the displacements, stresses and failure zones around the excavations. The modelling, assuming elastic behaviour of the materials, indicated that the maximum vertical displacements of the floor increased substantially as the Young’s Modulus of the material decreased to less than 7GPa and the thickness of the layer increased. The results also discount the possibility of a properly designed panel and pillar geometry in the Southern Coalfield of New South Wales being unable to adequately control surface subsidence through the pillar, or its core independently of the yielded ribs, penetrating the floor.