Deepak Dutta

Date of Graduation


Document Type



With the increase in production coming from longwall mining, attendant subsidence on the surface is becoming planned but widespread. As a consequence, in the rural USA, residential houses, farmers' barns, grain silos, county roads, small bridges, streams, grazing ground, underground water, pipe lines, and electric transmission towers are subjected to ground subsidence. Out of these structures and renewable resources, disturbances to residential houses caused by longwall mining are becoming a vexing problem for mine operators and house owners. In the backdrop of the above scenario, this dissertation explores two aspects of the issue, i.e. evaluation of damage to residential houses subjected to subsidence caused by longwall mining and control measures to prevent or reduce subsidence induced damages to residential houses. Statistical analysis is performed on the data obtained from the field observations to develop damage criteria for residential houses. Cracking intensity in concrete-block-masonry walls is also investigated and several regression equations are developed for assessing crack widths in concrete-block-masonry walls. Unexplained issues, like locations of cracks, number of cracks, initiation and propagation of cracks, and the effects of various factors and openings (i.e. doors and windows in the wall) are resolved by using finite element analysis of concrete-block-masonry walls subjected to base displacements. A procedure is developed by using the results of finite element analysis to assess the damage potential and damage intensity of concrete-block-masonry walls. Theoretical and analytical analyses of three protection measures--the plane fitting method, trenching around a house, and putting a tension cable around a concrete-block basement--have laid a logical foundation for their implementation in protecting residential houses. Detailed guidelines for implementing the protection plan have rendered these methods as robust engineering solutions to the vexing problem of damage to residential houses. The protection plan has been applied to 12 residential houses.