Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Zacharias Agioutantis

Abstract

Underground coal mining operations induce ground movements, which may impact overlying hydrogeologic systems. Potential impacts mainly include changes in the hydraulic conductivity of overlying strata, decreasing of the hydraulic head and changes in water flow. The present research quantifies potential hydrogeologic impacts caused by underground mining through modeling of pre- and post-mining hydrogeologic systems.

Three-dimensional conceptual hydrogeologic models were constructed with the Processing Modflow for Windows software package (PMWiN). The models are based on an actual case study, but were simplified in terms of geometry and material properties. Water flow was simulated under changing hydrogeologic properties. A number of scenarios were investigated including models with horizontal or inclined topography, featuring an aquifer overlying two longwall panels. The hydrogeologic properties of the models were estimated based on empirical relationships between the post-mining hydraulic conductivity and strain in the overburden. The strain regime in the overburden was estimated using the Surface Deformation Prediction System (SDPS) package, which allows calculation of surface deformations due to underground coal mining.

The research focuses on changes in hydraulic heads; results indicate that hydraulic heads may decrease over undermined areas and may rebound as mining ceases. Water infiltration may occur from higher located overburden formations to lower formations due to mining induced changes in hydrogeologic properties.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.335

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