Analysis of Mine Roof Support (AMRS) for US Coal Mines

Christopher Mark, Ryan C. Stephan, Zach Agioutantis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


During the past 15 years, roof fall rates have fallen dramatically in US coal mines, particularly in regions where the roof is weakest. The remarkable reduction in the number of roof falls has been accomplished with more effective roof support systems. The purpose of this paper is to present a design methodology that builds on and quantifies the basic roof support concepts that have been successful in the USA. The methodology starts by defining three modes of roof support, based on the roof strength relative to the stress level: (1) suspension, where roof bolts mainly provide skin control for strong roof; (2) beam building, where moderate strength roof can be supported by roof bolts alone; and (3) supplemental support for weak roof. Next, a large database of roof fall histories at a number of mines is used to define the approximate boundaries of these three regimes based on the coal mine roof rating and the depth of cover. Finally, guidelines are presented for site-specific design of support systems within each regime. The new computer package, analysis of mine roof support (AMRS), implements the design methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1899-1910
Number of pages12
JournalMining, Metallurgy and Exploration
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection.


  • Coal mining
  • Ground control
  • Rock bolting
  • Roof support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of Mine Roof Support (AMRS) for US Coal Mines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this