Abstract

A high-resolution seismic reflection technique was used to locate faults in coal seams that were not visible on the surface and could only be observed in underground coal mines. An 8-gauge buffalo gun, built by the research and development department of Consolidation Coal Company, was used as the seismic source. The coal seam at a depth of 700 ft produces a reflection with a predominant frequency of about 125 Hz.The high-resolution seismic data permitted faults with vertical displacements of the same magnitude as the seam thickness to be detected at depths of several hundred feet beneath the surface. Several faults were detected and interpreted from the seismic sections, and the magnitudes of their displacement were estimated by matching the recorded seismic data to synthetic seismic data. Subsequent underground mine development in the study area confirmed two interpreted faults and their estimated displacements. Mining engineers were able to use the information provided by the seismic survey to plan an entry system through the fault zone so that less rock needed to be mined, resulting in a safer and more productive mine.

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