Underground mining operations are subject to a number of natural hazards. Events resulting from these hazards are difficult to predict, and if they occur, they disrupt the entire mining process and pose a great danger to the crew. Some of the most dangerous include ventilation hazards involving methane explosions and fires caused by the spontaneous combustion of coal. The complex state of the underground environment means that these hazards oftentimes occur simultaneously, making mining conditions even worse. The following paper addresses this issue by developing the methodology for determining areas endangered by methane explosions and spontaneous coal combustion in goaves. The reference to goaves results from the fact that this particular area is most frequently affected by spontaneous coal combustion and the accumulation of dangerous amounts of methane. The developed methodology was based on model tests with the use of the CFD method and data necessary to develop a numerical model. The research encompassed a real longwall in one of the hard coal mines, ventilated with the Y system during its exploitation, which is beneficial in the case of the methane hazard but worsens the safety in terms of the self-ignition of coal. As a result of the conducted research, for the exploitation conditions, dangerous zones were specified due to the potential possibility of methane explosion and self-heating of coal. The basis for determining dangerous zones was the criteria of occurrence of the examined phenomena. In this study, the zones were identified for each of the investigated hazards separately and for their simultaneous occurrence. Thus, the aim of the study, which involved the determination of potentially hazardous zones by applying modern methods of modelling in the mining area, was achieved. The results are an immensely important source of information for activities aimed at improving safety in the studied area in relation to the studied threats.


Mining Engineering


Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju, Grant None

Keywords and Phrases

CFD; goaves; methane hazard; prognosis; spontaneous combustion of coal

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1339-3103; 1335-1788

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





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Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2022