Volume 34 Number 8
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2478



The propagation of Love seam‐waves across washouts of coal seams was studied by calculating synthetic seismograms with a finite‐difference method. Seam interruption, seam end and seam thinning models were investigated. The horizontal offset, the dip of the discontinuities and the degree of erosion served as variable parameters. Maximum displacement amplitudes, relative spectral amplitudes and phase and group slowness curves were extracted from the synthetic seismograms.

Both seam interruption and seam thinning reduce the maximum displacement amplitudes of the transmitted Love seam‐waves. The degree of amplitude reduction depends on the horizontal offset and the degree of erosion. It is four times greater for a total seam interruption than for an equivalent seam thinning with a horizontal offset of four times the seam thickness. In a seam cut vertically, the impedance contrast between the coal and the washout filling determines the maximum displacement amplitudes of the reflected Love seam‐waves. They diminish by a maximum factor of four in oblique interruption zone discontinuities with a dip of maximum 27°, and by a maximum factor of ten in a seam thinning with a degree of erosion of at least 22%.

The analysis of the relative spectral amplitudes indicates a preferential transmission of those phases with frequencies below, and a preferential reflection of those phases with frequencies above the first mode Airy‐phase. The relative spectral amplitudes of the reflected Love seam‐waves show a distinct interference pattern of the waves reflected at both interruption zone discontinuities.

The dispersion analysis reveals a flattening of the phase and group slowness curves with increasing frequencies, horizontal offset and degrees of erosion.

These results imply that a detection of washouts in‐mine will be possible in a frequency range including at least the first mode Airy‐phase. An interference pattern and a flattening of the dispersion curve indicate a washout rather than other seam obstructions and leads to an estimate of the washout dimension.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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