Accurate knowledge of the stress-strain state of rock mass, not only in their vicinity but also in the wide surroundings of mine workings, is absolutely critical for precise support designing. Investigation of the rock stress is usually carried out by interpretation of the rock mass deformation processes, which can be relatively precisely observed and measured.
In order to verify the stress state of the rock mass and changes in it induced by longwall mining, monitoring of changes in the rock mass stress in connection with the mine out of the longwall No. 371 202 was carried out. The seam extracted by monitored longwall has a thickness of approximately 2 m at a depth about 1100 m and lies within the Czech part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. Interpretation of the initial rock mass stress tensor and verification of its changes during longwall mining were the aims of this stress monitoring. A total of five probes were installed on the roof rocks of the main gate. Two compact conical-ended borehole overcoring probes were installed to obtain the pre-mining full stress tensor and afterwards three compact conical-ended borehole monitoring probes were installed to continuously monitor the stress state in the rock mass ahead of the advancing longwall. The monitored stress development contributes to our knowledge of stress distribution and its changes during excavation at great depth in multi-seam sedimentary deposits of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin.
Knowledge, which should be as accurate as possible, of the stress–strain state in rock mass is the determining factor for the proper planning of roadway supports . That is why stress monitoring, primarily of the changes induced by longwall mining, is considered within this research project. The locality of longwall No. 371 202 in a mine of the Ostrava-Karvina Coalfields (Upper Silesian Coal Basin – USCB) was chosen for the research.