O. Nikitin


This paper analyses the stability of the mining blocks by the Monte Carlo method in Estonian oil shale mines, where the room-and-pillar mining system is used. The pillars are arranged in a singular grid. The oil shale bed is embedded at the depth of 40-75 m. The processes in overburden rocks and pillars have caused the subsidence of the ground surface. Visual Basic for Application was used for the modeling. Through Monte Carlo simulation, room-and-pillar stable parameters can be calculated. Model allows determination of the probability of spontaneous collapse of the pillars and surface subsidence by the parameters of registered collapsed mining blocks. Proposed method suits as an express-method for stability analysis and failure prognosis. It is applicable in different geological conditions, where the room-and-pillar mining system is used.


mining block; collapse; environment; pillar; underground excavation; stability prediction method; subsidence; Monte Carlo method; failure prognosis

Full Text:



Reinsalu, E. Post technological processes in mined out areas. Estonian Science Foundation, Grant No. 3403. Tallinn, 2001.

Pastarus, J.-R., Nikitin, O. Environmental issues prediction methods for Estonian oil shale mines. Proc. of the International Conference "Environment and Society" Rezekne, Latvia, February 28 – March 2, 2002, p.95-101.

Monte Carlo Simulation examples by Anthony Sun, web page address:

Talve L. 1983. Investigation of the convergence characteristics for room-and-pillar mining method on Estonian oil shale mines "«ESTONSLANEC", TPI, Tallinn, p.53, (in russian).

Mining-law and legal regulation acts. Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economy. Part II, Tallinn, 1998, p.185-205.

Parker, I.. Mine pillar design in 1993: Computers have become the opiate of the mining engineers. London., Mining Engineering, July and August: 714-717 and 1047-1050. 1993.

Stetsenko, V. & Ivanov G. Prognosis of the time depending roof displacements for different span lengths. Oil Shale 11: 13-18. 1981, (EstNIINTI) (in Russian).



  • There are currently no refbacks.