Report: APP CMHS Project 1

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3.3.6. Water Control

Water inrush is one of the major safety hazards in Chinese coal mines. During 2000 to 2008 water inrush incidents occurred 521 times and resulted in 2,967 fatalities. Over 90 % of the incidents occurred due to water inrush from karst strata with pressured water.

Current Technologies

Current methods of predicting water inrush include analysis of geological and hydrological conditions of surrounding strata, geochemical method such as tracer technique and isotopic methods to identify water flow passage, geophysical techniques, and special hydro geological tests.

Main water inrush prevention measures include:

  • reduction in water pressure in targeted strata with boreholes or specially excavated tunnel

  • blocking water with grouting

  • leaving a barrier pillar between active mine workings and flooded areas or old mine workings

  • detection of structures ahead of the working face using wireless detection technology

  • an adjustment of mine design to avoid flooded areas.

Monitoring of potential water inrush is by geophysical detection of water bodies and structures ahead of mining, visual inspections and measurement of water discharge.

Application sites

Comprehensive water inrush management has been practiced at the coal mines of the Fengfeng, Xuzhou and Huaibei Groups.

Technology gaps/needs

Current methods of water inrush monitoring are insufficient. The future focuses should be on:

  • development of remote sensing technologies to detect geological structures, in particular water bearing structures and old workings ahead of and around working faces

  • development of on-line or real-time monitoring system of water inrush potential during mining.

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