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Abstract

One of the geohazards associated with coal mining is subsidence. Coal was originally extracted where it outcropped, then mining became progressively deeper via shallow workings including bell pits, which later developed into room-and-pillar workings. By the middle of the 1900s, coal was mined in larger open pits and underground by longwall mining methods. The mining of coal can often result in the subsidence of the ground surface. Generally, there are two main types of subsidence associated with coal mining. The first is the generation of crown holes caused by the collapse of mine entries and mine roadway intersections and the consolidation of shallow voids. The second is where longwall mining encourages the roof to fail to relieve the strains on the working face and this generates a subsidence trough. The ground movement migrates upwards and outwards from the seam being mined and ultimately causes the subsidence and deformation of the ground surface. Methods are available to predict mining subsidence so that existing or proposed structures and land developments may be safeguarded. Ground investigative methods and geotechnical engineering options are also available for sites that have been or may be adversely affected by coal mining subsidence.

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