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Effects of Subsidence on Steeptopography and Cliff Lines

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Author Kay D and Carter J P
ID P199207034

Description

A two year study into the effects of coal mining induced subsidence on cliff lines was undertaken by the Department of Mineral Resources with the support of a grant under the National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Program. A new monitoring technique, using an Electronic Distance Meter and acrylic reflectors attached to the cliffs, provided safety for the surveyors and extensive and accurate three dimensional displacement data on the movement of the cliffs as they were being undermined. The study report included many graphs showing the measured vertical and horizontal displacements, differential subsidence, tilts and strains and included analysis of these movements with various parameters, such as, seam thickness, depth of cover and distances between the reflectors, longwall face and the edge of the chain pillar. Some of these graphs are presented in this paper and could be used, with caution, to predict subsidence movements around other cliff lines, after allowing for differences in geology and mining layout. A mechanism is suggested as an explanation for the observed high horizontal movements around the cliff lines. Sixteen percent of the overall lengths of cliffs that were undermined during the monitoring study fell and the contributions of various factors that appeared to influence the cliff falls are discussed. It is concluded that no single factor dominated as the major cause of the cliff falls and, often, many factors combined to cause cliff face instability.