Detecting the footprint of a longwall mine panel claimed to infringe on a permit boundary at the Soma-Darkale coalfield (Manisa, Turkey) using surface fractures and microgravity measurements

Karaman A., Seyhan T., Isik M. F.

ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol.70, no.4, pp.1895-1902, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12665-013-2277-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1895-1902
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


A coal mine panel claimed to infringe on a permit boundary, or to create an hazard after subsidence has been the subject of lawsuits. We study at the Soma-Darkale coalfield (Manisa, Turkey), the footprint of a lignite coal mine panel at a depth of about 150-200 m by mapping all of the surface fractures we could observe, and by developing a post-subsidence density model that we verified through gravity measurements with positive Bouguer anomaly. With the analysis of the fracture map and the gravity data, we were able to identify the footprint of a mine panel from the effect of the anomalous mass due to denser overburden material filling up the space after the extraction of less-dense lignite. Whereas, using empirical methods like the so-called "limit line approach" to evaluate the extent of the area where mining can have subsidence-induced surface fracturing, one could not recognize for certain infringement of permit boundaries. The orientations of the fractures we mapped at the ground surface, the Bouguer gravity map, and a test borehole indicated the presence and dimensions of a coal panel in dispute. The presented approach based on gravity method and fracture observations may be an example to help settle conflicts related to the position of the longwall mine panel.