Document Type


Publication Date



Statler College of Engineering and Mining Resources


Mining Engineering


A comprehensive monitoring program was conducted to measure the rock mass displacements, support response, and stress changes at a longwall tailgate entry in West Virginia. Monitoring was initiated a few days after development of the gateroad entries and continued during passage of the longwall panels on both sides of the entry. Monitoring included overcore stress measurements of the initial stress within the rock mass, changes in cable bolt loading, standing support pressure, roof deformation, rib deformation, stress changes in the coal pillar, and changes in the full three-dimensional stress tensor within the rock mass at six locations around the monitoring site. During the passage of the first longwall, stress measure- ments in the rock and coal detected minor changes in loading while minor changes were detected in roof deformation. As a result of the relatively favorable stress and geological conditions, the support systems did not experience severe loading or rock deformation until the second panel approached within 10–15 m of the instrumented locations. After reaching the peak loading at about 50–75 mm of roof sag, the cable bolts started to unload, and load was transferred to the standing supports. The standing support system was able to maintain an adequate opening inby the shields to provide ventilation to the first crosscut inby the face, as designed. The results were used to calibrate modeled cable bolt response to field data, and to validate numerical modeling procedures that have been developed to evaluate entry support systems. It is concluded that the support system was more than adequate to control the roof of the tailgate up to the longwall face location. The monitoring results have provided valuable data for the development and val- idation of support design strategies for longwall tailgate entries.

Source Citation

Esterhuizen, G. S., Gearhart, D. F., & Tulu, I. B. (2018). Analysis of monitored ground support and rock mass response in a longwall tailgate entry. International Journal of Mining Science and Technology, 28(1), 43–51.


2017 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of China University of Mining & Technology. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

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