Abstract

A serious coal mine accident in southwest Pennsylvania in July 2002 occurred when mining activity came too close to an old abandoned flooded mine. A high hydrostatic head and thin coal barrier caused a major water breakthrough and flooded the QueCreek Mine. Nine miners were trapped underground for nearly 77 hours before they could be safely rescued. This high-profile accident motivated the U.S. government to investigate and explore measures that could minimize similar accidents in the future. As a result, several groups from private companies and academia were funded to develop and demonstrate remote-sensing geophysical technologies that could detect old mine works. The focus of this study was to evaluate the potential of a high-resolution 2D surface seismic reflection survey to detect abandoned mine works near an active coal mine in Ohio.

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