Subsidence Crack Closure: Rate, Magnitude, and Sequence
Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
Tension cracks are a major disturbance resulting from subsidence and differential settlement above underground coal mines. Recent engineering studies of subsidence indicate that cracks may close where tensile stresses causing the cracks are reduced or relaxed. This stress reduction occurs as mining in the area is completed. Crack closure was confirmed by a study in the Wasatch Plateau coal field of central Utah. Cracks occurred in both exposed bedrock and regolith in an area with maximum subsidence of 3 m. Mean closure rate was 0.3 cm per week with individual crack closure rates between 0.2 cm and 1.0 cm per week. The mean crack closure magnitude was 80% with closure magnitudes varying between 31% and 100%. Actual magnitude values ranged from 0.6 cm to 6.5 cm with a mean value of 3.8 cm. Statistical analysis compared width change status among cracks over time. It was found that: 1) a 41% probability existed that a crack would exhibit decreasing width per weekly measurement, 2) closure state sequences seem random over time, and 3) real differences in closure state sequence existed among different cracks.
J. V. Degraff and H. C. Romesburg. 1981. Subsidence Crack Closure: Rate, Magnitude, and Sequence. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, 23:123-127.