Document Type: Case Study


1 Faculty of Mining, Petroleum & Geophysics Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran

2 School of Civil Engineering & Surveying, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia


Immediate roof caving in longwall mining is a complex dynamic process, and it is the core of numerous issues and challenges in this method. Hence, a reliable prediction of the strata behavior and its caving potential is imperative in the planning stage of a longwall project. The span of the main caving is the quantitative criterion that represents cavability. In this paper, two approaches are proposed in order to predict the span of the main caving in longwall projects. Cavability index (CI) is introduced based on the hybrid multi-criteria decision-making technique, combining the fuzzy analytical network processes (ANP) and the fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEAMTEL). Subsequently, the relationship between the new index and the caving span is determined. In addition, statistical relationships are developed, incorporating the multivariate regression method. The real data for nine panels is used to develop the new models. Accordingly, two models based on CI including the Gaussian and cubic models as well as the linear and non-linear regression models are proposed. The performance of the proposed models is evaluated in various actual cases. The results obtained indicate that the CI-Gaussian model possesses a higher performance in the prediction of the main caving span in actual cases when compared to the other models. These results confirm that it is not possible to consider all the effective parameters in an empirical relationship due to a higher error in the prediction.


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