A new mechanistic model for prediction of instantaneous coal outbursts - Dedicated to the memory of Prof. Daniel D. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

An instantaneous coal outburst is a sudden and violent simultaneous ejection of large amounts of coal and gas (methane, carbon dioxide) from the working coalface during underground mining. The occurrence of such an outburst usually leads to a gas explosion and pollution of the mine. Despite extensive research efforts in the past 150. years, the physical mechanisms causing coal outbursts are still poorly understood. Here we present a new model combining fracture mechanics, gas dynamics and rock mechanics to elucidate the physical mechanisms leading to instantaneous outbursts. This model suggests a domino effect that leads to a catastrophic failure of the coal and an instantaneous outburst. The model identifies a critical condition for the onset of instantaneous outbursts, and it successfully predicts all of the observed phenomena preceding outbursts, most of which are explained for the first time. The model also predicts a fracture aperture size effect which is confirmed by the existing observation-based fracture classification scheme used to assess outburst proneness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Volume87
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

Keywords

  • Catastrophic failure
  • Choked flow
  • Coal outburst
  • Fractured zone
  • Unbounded pressure gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy

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