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Geotechnical Engineering

 

Geophysical Technologies for Detecting Underground Coal Mine Voids:
An Interactive Forum

Technology Opportunities for Coal Mining

Presenter: Richard J. Sweigard, Chairman
University/Organization: Department of Mining Engineering
University of Kentucky
Phone: 859-257-8026
Fax: 859-323-1962
Email: rsweigar@engr.uky.edu
Mailing Address: 230 Mineral Resources Bldg.
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0107

Abstract

A number of technological challenges face the coal mining industry. This is particularly true in the eastern coalfields. Various governmental and private organizations have conducted studies and published reports outlining key technological issues that must be addressed for the mining industry to thrive. One such report was prepared by the National Research Council following the release of coal slurry from an impoundment in Martin County, Kentucky. Several technological needs were highlighted in this document, including the need for better methods of locating abandoned underground mines. Geophysical techniques are one such approach that must be explored. Additional technological challenges have been identified by DOE in its Mining Industry of the Future roadmaps, as well as reports prepared by the RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute, NIOSH, the Center for Advanced Separation Technology, and others. Garnering the support and expertise to meet these challenges will provide the technology opportunities that will enable the coal mining industry to meet the demand for a stable and economical energy supply.

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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