The contributions of the alpha foundation to ground control research and development

Tom Barczak, Zach Agioutantis, Julian Restrepo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication35th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining 2016
EditorsThomas M. Barczak, Syd S. Peng, Stephen C. Tadolini, Donna Schmidt
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781510860292
StatePublished - 2016
Event35th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining 2016 - Morgantown, United States
Duration: Jul 26 2016Jul 28 2016

Publication series

Name35th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining 2016


Conference35th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc. (Foundation) was established as part of a NonProsecution Agreement (Agreement) entered in December 2011 by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, the United States Department of Justice and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (”Alpha”) and Alpha Appalachia Holdings, Inc. This Agreement was related to the explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine, an underground coal mine owned by Performance Coal Company, a former affiliate of Massey Energy Company, which Alpha acquired in June 2011. Pursuant to that agreement, Alpha agreed to establish a trust to fund projects designed to improve mine health and safety by providing $48,000,000 into the trust. The mission and vision of the Foundation are as follows:

Funding Information:
The Colorado School of Mines in a project funded by the Alpha Foundation has demonstrated that pillars with high width-to-height ratios, which typically will maintain highly, confined inner cores through their squat geometries, can fail in a highly unstable and dynamic manner. The study has shown that shear failure along the pillar and roof interface (Figure 2) facilitates excessive energy releases that can cause sudden dynamic failure within the coal pillar when strain-softening (quasi-brittle) coal material properties are considered (Figure 3). The study concluded that with a high vertical stress applied onto the pillar system, unstable slip failures, which occur along coal-rock interfaces, might trigger sudden de-confinement to the mining faces or sidewalls, leading to powerful unstable failures.

Funding Information:
Vision: To enable miners in the future to be free of work-related injury or disease by the implementation of the results of the projects funded by the Foundation and undertaken by the best researchers from any discipline that can contribute.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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