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Long-Term Stability Evaluation and Pillar Design Criterion for Room-and-Pillar Mines

School of Environment Science and Spatial Information, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2017, 10(10), 1644;
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 8 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematical and Computational Modeling in Geothermal Engineering)
PDF [2128 KB, uploaded 19 October 2017]


The collapse of abandoned room-and-pillar mines is often violent and unpredictable. Safety concerns often resulted in mine closures with no post-mining stability evaluations. As a result, large amounts of land resources over room-and-pillar mines are wasted. This paper attempts to establish an understanding of the long-term stability issues of goafs (abandoned mines). Considering progressive pillar failures and the effect of single pillar failure on surrounding pillars, this paper proposes a pillar peeling model to evaluate the long-term stability of coal mines and the associated criteria for evaluating the long-term stability of room-and-pillar mines. The validity of the peeling model was verified by numerical simulation, and field data from 500 pillar cases from China, South Africa, and India. It is found that the damage level of pillar peeling is affected by the peel angle and pillar height and is controlled by the pillar width–height ratio. View Full-Text
Keywords: room-and-pillar mining; long-term pillar stability; pillar degradation; mine safety; pillar design room-and-pillar mining; long-term pillar stability; pillar degradation; mine safety; pillar design

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Yu, Y.; Chen, S.-E.; Deng, K.-Z.; Fan, H.-D. Long-Term Stability Evaluation and Pillar Design Criterion for Room-and-Pillar Mines. Energies 2017, 10, 1644.

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