General Kinnematics
November 2021
Volume 73    Issue 11

Assessing longwall gateroad ground response and support alternatives

Esterhuizen, Gabriel S.; Klemetti, Ted; Sears, Morgan M.; Zhang, Peter; van Dyke, Mark; Dougherty, Heather; Tulu, I. Berk


Ground falls in longwall gateroad entries remain a concern in modern longwall operations. The gateroads are subject to changing horizontal and vertical ground stress induced by longwall extraction. These stress changes can result in failure of the strata around an entry leading to large deformations of the entry roof, floor and ribs. The gateroad support systems are required to control the failed strata while maintaining safe access to the longwall face and unimpeded ventilation. This paper presents research conducted to better understand the stability issues in gateroad excavations and to develop procedures for evaluating support and layout alternatives for longwall gateroads. Using the results of a field-monitoring program and numerical model analysis of case histories, a conceptual model of gateroad support needs was developed. The conceptual model formed the basis for developing a set of equations that can be used to estimate likely roof sag and support loading for given roof geology and longwall-induced loading conditions. The developed equations were used to compare predicted gateroad stability to field study results, showing satisfactory agreement. The calculation procedures are used to demonstrate their application in assessing support alternatives at a case study mine. It is concluded that the developed analysis procedures provide realistic assessments of likely ground stability and can be used to evaluate alternative gateroad support systems at operating longwall mines.


Follow these easy steps if you are an SME member:
  • Go to . Sign in with your email address and password.
  • Hover your mouse over “Publications and Resourcesâ€� in the top banner. Click on “Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (MME) Journalâ€� in the pull-down menu.
  • Scroll down and click on the “Read the MME Journal Onlineâ€� button, which will take you to the Springer site as an SME member who is eligible for free access. (To see published papers on the Springer site, click on “Browse Volumes & Issuesâ€� in the blue banner.)
If you are not an SME member, go to for paid access. Or join SME at