Tomographic imaging of coal pillar conditions: Observations and implications

M. J. Friedel, Michael J Jackson, E. M. Williams, M. S. Olson, E. Westman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) investigated the use of seismic refraction tomography (SRT) for identifying changes in pillar loading at the Foidel Creek coal mine near Steamboat Springs, Colo. The inherent three-dimensional problem of directly imaging coal pillar conditions is reduced to a single plane by considering only the load transmitted from the pillar to the adjacent floor rock. Floor strata velocity tomograms (at two pillar locations) illustrate that loading conditions are nonuniform and nonunique. Also, time sequence moni-toring, as the longwall face advanced, demonstrated that SRT can be used to image spatial changes in loading conditions. SRT offers the mining engineer a simple and flexible technique for evaluating pillar conditions and, thus, both present and alternative mine designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-290
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences and Geomechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Tomographic imaging of coal pillar conditions: Observations and implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this