Mining of Mineral Deposits

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Analytical modeling of mine water rebound: Three case studies in closed hard-coal mines in Germany

Dmytro Rudakov1, Sebastian Westermann2

1Dnipro University of Technology, Dnipro, 49005, Ukraine

2Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola – University, Bochum, 44787, Germany

Min. miner. depos. 2021, 15(3):22-30

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      Purpose.In this paper we present and validate an analytical model of water inflow and rising level in a flooded mine and examine the model robustness and sensitivity to variations of input data considering the examples of three closed hard-coal mines in Germany.

      Methods. We used the analytical solution to a boundary value problem of radial ground water flow to the shaft, treated as a big well, and water balance relations for the series of successive stationary positions of a depression cone to simulate a mine water rebound in the mine taking into account vertical distribution of hydraulic conductivity, residual volume of underground workings, and natural pores.

      Findings. The modeling demonstrated very good agreement with the measured data for all the studied mines. The maximum relative deviation for the mine water level during the measurement period did not exceed 2.1%; the deviation for the inflow rate to a mine before its flooding did not exceed 0.8%. Sensitivity analysis revealed the higher significance of the residual working volume and hydraulic conductivity for mine water rebound in the case of thick overburden and the growing significance of the infiltration rate and the flooded area size in the case of lower overburden thickness.

      Originality.The developed analytical model allows realistic prediction of transient mine water rebound and inflow into a mine with layered heterogeneity of rocks, irregular form of the drained area, and with the inflow/outflow to a neighboring mine and the volume of voids as a distributed parameter without gridding the flow domain performed in numerical models.

      Practical implications.The study demonstrated the advantages of analytical modeling as a tool for preliminary evaluation and prediction of flooding indicators and parameters of mined out disturbed rocks. In case of uncertain input data, modeling can be considered as an attractive alternative to usually applied numerical methods of modeling ground and mine water flow.

      Keywords:mine flooding, mine water rebound, water level, inflow rate, analytical model, sensitivity analysis


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