Behaviour of abandoned room and pillar mines in Illinois

G. G. Marino, R. A. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little comprehensive information has been reported on the behaviour of room-and-pillar mines. The objective of this paper is to present case data on mine failures in the Illinois basin for use in practice. Presented are results of an ongoing study and details on the site characteristics of cases where sags have developed on the surface. Site data are reported to show the geologic, mining, and sag conditions that existed. Sags mainly develop from pillar, floor, or pillar-floor failure. The character of the sags depends upon the type of mine failure as well as the overburden response. Preliminary results show that the statistical no-risk tributary pressure decreases over 300% as the mine age increases from about 2 to 100 years at a long-term value of approximately 300 psi (2070 kPa). As more information is collected and more analysis is done, the allowable tributary pressure can be determined for different site conditions. A plot is also reported that depicts the relationship of the maximum subsidence to site conditions. It was found that the modified subsidence factor was heavily dependent upon the overburden rock thickness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mining and Geological Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1989


  • Room and pillar mines
  • abandoned mines
  • coal mining
  • pillar strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Soil Science
  • Geology


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