6th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, Morgantown, West Virginia, June 1987
Authors: H. Maleki (AAI), T. Carlisle and G. Hunt (Plateau Mining Company), and J. F. T. Agapito (AAI)

A novel ground control program has been developed at Plateau Mining Company through five years of geotechnical investigations. The study was initiated to determine the causes for roof stability problems and to develop alternative support and monitoring systems for increased safety and productivity. From systematic roof fall observations, extensive geologic mapping, roof drilling, and monitoring ground movements along gate entries of four longwall panels, a sandstone channel system was detected and shown to impact roof stability. In particular, underlying mudstones up to 7-ft-thick experienced instability due to differential compaction and load transfer from the gob. Roof bolter operators were trained to report roof lithology for mapping channel positions into the roof and for selective use of longer bolts. This boosted operator morale, and improved ground conditions. Monitoring rates of roof movement is used in these areas for detection of instability and for application of secondary support. This has significantly increased safety and productivity.

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