Energy dissipation and storage in underground mining operations

Xiangjian Dong, Ali Karrech, Hakan Basarir, Mohamed Elchalakani, Abdennour Seibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we focus on the energy alteration during longwall mining in an attempt to mimic the conditions of a coal mine in Western Turkey. We verify the proposed model using existing analytical and numerical solutions in terms of stress components. Based on the verified numerical model, the energy balance during longwall retreat is studied rigorously. It is found that excavation-induced increment of external work increases linearly with time, while the stored strain energy increment is quadratic. Meanwhile, the strain energy increment rate gradually decreases with longwall progress because of excavation-induced higher stored energy within the adjacent coal block. The energy dissipation process during lonwall mining, corresponding to crack propagation, is divided into four stages, namely initiation stage, steady growth stage, sharp increment stage, and stabilisation stage. Our results provide new insights into energy evolution during longwall mining both from the reversible and irreversible points of view. The current paper shows, for the first time, that the extended finite element method is suitable to describe the crack propagation during longwall mining. The excavation induced crack propagation in the roof strata predicted by the model is in agreement with the “arch-shaped” patterns obtained using laboratory tests and Discrete Element numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-245
Number of pages17
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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