Abstract:

There is now a great concern how to deal with potential damage resulting from the collapse of abandoned room and pillar mines in relation to the anticipated Nankai-Tonankai-Tokai mega earthquake. The authors have initiated some analytical, numerical and monitoring studies on stability and performance abandoned cavities as well as their performance before and after back-filling. In this study, the authors present the outcomes of a series of experimental studies on the supporting effect of backfilling on the response and stability of abandoned mines. Furthermore, the authors discuss their implications on backfilling against anticipated mega earthquakes through a series of numerical analyses with the considerations of experiments.

1 Introduction

The Great East Japan Earthquake with a moment magnitude 9.0 caused gigantic tsunami waves, which destroyed many cities and towns along the shores of Tohoku and Kanto Regions of Japan. Besides the structural damage on ground surface, this earthquake caused the collapses abandoned lignite and coalmines and underground stone quarries and associated damage to super structures at 329 localities (Fig. 1). Similar events occurred in the previous 1978 Off-Miyagi earthquake, 2003 Miyagi-hokubu earth-quake and 2008 Iwate-Miyagi intraplate earthquake. There is now a great concern in Japan how to deal with potential damage resulting from the collapse of abandoned room and pillar mines and quarries in relation to the anticipated Nankai-Tonankai-Tokai mega earthquake. The anticipated magnitude would be similar to that of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake occurred along the Tohoku region of Japan (Fig. 2).

The authors have involved with the performance and responses of abandoned mines in Tokai Region of Japan during earthquakes and have initiated a continuous measurement and monitoring program for investigating the stability and performance of several abandoned room and pillar lignite mine in Mitake town since April 2004. The authors have also been carrying out some monitoring studies on the response of abandoned cavities before and after back-filling. In this study, the authors present the outcomes of a series of experimental studies on the supporting effect of backfilling on the response and stability of abandoned mines and quarries and report the results of a series of numerical analyses.

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