Abstract

This paper presents the development and results of Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) modelling of a 100m wide fault zone for a proposed underground long wall panel at a coal mine in the Newcastle Coalfield, Australia. The purpose of the DFN modelling was to estimate the risk of unstable blocks in a narrow unsupported opening between the cutting face and a support shield.

Both regional and local data was used to develop a detailed fault characterization model upon which to base the DFN development. This was particularly important for educating faults lengths. The DFN modelling established a set of realizations that were used to statistically assess kinematic stability of blocks exposed in the roof and walls of the unsupported opening. A second more conservative assessment of blocks was undertaken by manual inspection as a simple attempt to account for blocks with small rock bridges.

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