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In-situ stress partition and its implication on coalbed methane occurrence in the basin–mountain transition zone: a case study of the Pingdingshan coalfield, China


The basin–mountain transition zone presents complex geologic structures and non-uniformly distributed in-situ stress. Studying the spatial distribution laws of in-situ stress and their influences on coalbed methane (CBM) occurrence in coal seams plays a significant role in CBM extraction and prevention of coalmine disasters. Based on the actual measured in-situ stress data, CBM content and gas pressure data in the Pingdingshan coalfield, located in the basin–mountain transition zone in the south of the late Palaeozoic basins in the North China block, this research investigated the distribution characteristics of geologic structures and partition of in-situ stress as well as the effects of in-situ stresses on CBM occurrence in the research area using evolution theories of geologic structure and a statistical analysis method. The research results show that geologic structure and in-situ stress distribution in the research area have obvious partition characteristics. The research area is divided into three tectonic zonations. In-situ stress distribution is controlled by tectonic types and tectonic stress field evolution of different tectonic zonations, which are divided into high tectonic stress zonation, tectonic stress zonation and vertical stress zonation from east to west. Also, the research results reveal the characteristics of each stress zonation and the relationship between CBM occurrence and in-situ stress in this research area.

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\( C_{\varphi } \) :

The pore compressibility of coal (MPa−1)

H :

The burial depth of coal seams (m)

K :

Absolute permeabilities under certain stresses (μm2)

K 0 :

Absolute permeabilities under no stress (μm2)

R :

The linear correlation coefficient

\( \Delta \sigma \) :

The change rate of stresses (MPa)

\( \sigma_{H} \) :

The maximum horizontal principal stress (MPa)

\( \sigma_{h} \) :

The minimum horizontal principal stress (MPa)

\( \sigma_{v} \) :

The vertical principal stress (MPa)


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The study was financially supported by the National Science and Technology Major Project of China (Grant Nos. 2016ZX05066003 and 2016ZX05066006), Plan of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41530315), Production-Study-Research Cooperation of Henan Province (16210700040), Project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M622343), Key Science and Technology Program of Henan Province (152102210105), Project supported by Henan Postdoctoral Foundation (001703047), Doctoral Foundation of Henan Polytechnic University (B2016-03, B2017-04), Program for Innovative Research Team in University of Ministry of Education of China (IRT_16R22) and National Coal Field Engineering Research Center for Gas Geology and Gas Control.

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Correspondence to Tianrang Jia or Guoying Wei.

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Yan, J., Jia, T., Wei, G. et al. In-situ stress partition and its implication on coalbed methane occurrence in the basin–mountain transition zone: a case study of the Pingdingshan coalfield, China. Sādhanā 45, 47 (2020).

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  • Partition of in-situ stress
  • control of geological structure
  • coalbed methane occurrence
  • basin–mountain transition zone
  • geologic structure evolution
  • coalfield