Charles Sweeney

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Charles Sweeney, Importance of Monitoring Technologies and In Situ Testing, with Relation to Numerical Analysis for Ground Control Design, 15th Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Mine Managers Association of Australia, 2015, 84-93.


As Underground (UG) coal mining companies look to reduce costs, whilst attempting to mine through increasingly difficult ground conditions, UG strata monitoring and testing data is becoming more and more important to acquire. The current monitoring technologies have their uses, but with mines getting deeper and entering new areas these laborious technologies are becoming too labour intensive and potentially subjecting personnel to potentially hazardous situations. With certain difficulties surrounding the implementation of electronic remote monitoring systems in UG coal mines, acquiring this data has seen little headway in terms of being able to expand the range of monitoring equipment being used in UG coal mines. There are a number of products on the market today which are effective in remotely monitoring strata deformation, however these can be very specialised and not entirely established or user friendly. Where an experience base of strata deformation is not available for a particular mine site, UG strata sampling and relevant in situ testing is able to compensate in the validation of numerical models. The data obtained from this testing can be used to build calibrated numerical models for site-specific ground control issues - to be used in predicting the behaviour of UG strata deformation. The rapid increase in computer power and affordability has seen enormous growth in the development of sophisticated computer codes. This paper discusses a number of limitations surrounding the collection of UG monitoring data and its use in mine design. The relevance of in situ data collection is also discussed in relation to the emergence of numerical modelling, as a tool to predict ground behaviour in UG coal mines.