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Location of abandoned workings in coal seams

  • F. G. Bell
Article

Abstract

Coal mining has gone on in many parts of Western Europe and North America frequently for 200 years or more. Consequently in many urban areas there are abandoned workings at shallow depth which often are unrecorded. These may present a potential hazard when such areas are redeveloped.

Investigation of abandoned coal mine workings is no easy task and requires some knowledge of past methods of mineral exploitation.

Such an investigation involves assessing the nature of old mine workings. The desk study will include a survey of appropriate maps, documents, records and literature, and, at times, aerial photographs.

Generally speaking the usual methods of geophysical exploration have not proved very successful in revealing the layout of shallow old mine workings. However, some relatively new methods of geophysical surveying do appear have had some success. Of these, ground probing radar would seem to offer the most potential.

The location of old workings has generally been carried out by exploratory drilling. Workings may be examined by using borehole camera or closed circuit television, or by gaining direct access from headings or shafts.

Keywords

Radar Ground Movement Coal Seam Mine Working Drill String 

Repérage de chantiers abandonnés dans des exploitations de charbon

Résumé

L'exploitation de la houille se poursuit depuis au moins deux cents ans dans plusieurs régions de l'Europe occidentale et de l'Amérique du Nord. En conséquence il existe dans les alentours de beaucoup de villes, des chantiers d'exploitation abandonnés et peu profonds dont souvent on ne trouve aucune mention. Il se peut que ceux-ci présentent une situation dangereuse lors de l'aménagement de telles régions.

La reconnaissance de ces chantiers abandonnés est assez difficile et elle nécessite pas mal de connaissances sur les anciennes méthodes d'exploitation minérale.

En faisant une telle reconnaissance, il faut estimer la nature des chantiers anciens. Le travail en bureau doit comprendre un examen attentif de tous les documents nécessaires: plans, registres, et parfois photographies aériennes.

En général les méthodes habituelles d'exploration géophysique n'ont pas bien réussi à découvrir la disposition des chantiers anciens peu profonds. Cependant il paraît bien que certains procédés assez récents employés par les géophysiciens aient eu du succès. Parmi ceux-ci, le radar pour sonder le terrain semble être le procédé le plus intéressant pour l'avenir.

Généralement on a découvert les anciens chantiers en effectuant de nombreux forages explorateurs. Il est possible d'examiner les chantiers en employant des appareils photographiques spéciaux ou la télévision à circuit fermé, ou en se procurant l'accès direct par les galeries d'avancement ou les puits.

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Copyright information

© International Assocaition of Engineering Geology 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. G. Bell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringTeesside Polytechnic, MiddlesbroughGrande-Bretagne

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