It is vital to determine the critical distance between a mining roadway and a natural vertical water-blocked body (VWBB) where a substantial water level difference and seepage gradient have developed between the two sides of the VWBB. A VWBB critical distance was defined and then determined using a 3D numerical simulation method based on the strength reduction method. The primary value of the VWBB critical distance was determined in consideration of the potential equivalent plastic strain zone induced by the roadways. In consideration of the other influencing factors, the VWBB critical distance was suggested as 105.00 m.

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