Summary

The paper reviews the main causes of ground subsidence as it affects route design and construction in the United Kingdom. Investigation techniques and remedial measures are discussed in relation to both natural and mining subsidence. In addition to the common occurrence of subsidence problems in the coalfields, emphasis is placed on their presence elsewhere in the country. Natural subsidence problems are associated mainly with carbonate and saliferous rocks but mining activity has taken place at various times at numerous geological horizons for a variety of minerals. Future mining activity is likely to involve fewer minerals but will still be dominated by the coal industry. Experience has shown that the conflicting interests of route planners and mineral operators can usually be resolved by negotiation, accompanied in some cases by compensation.

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