Historically, there have been many events of mine fires and explosions recorded in the United States and other countries that have demonstrated the existence of explosive methane-air mixtures, herein referred to as explosive gas zones (EGZs) . The risk of mine explosions can increase if these EGZs migrate out from the gob into the surrounding mine entries — a phenomenon known as gob breathing. A number of 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations using various magnitudes and periods of barometric pressure variation have indicated that the EGZ outgassing potentially occurs due to lags in pressure, which are strongly influenced by mine conditions and ventilation systems. Early-warning systems with real-time pressure monitoring and the application of gob ventilation boreholes are recommended to detect and mitigate explosion hazards from gob outgassing.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2020) 37:1437–1449, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00287-6