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CURRENT EVENTS
2005

MSHA - Since the founder had successfully built a multi-faceted coal geophysics program for CONSOL Energy Inc. from 1985 to 2000, the company received a major contract in April 2005 from the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA), US Department of Labor, to demonstrate several geophysical methods that can be used to detect and image mine voids or old mine works.  The funding came about because of the mine accident that occurred at the QueCreek Mine in Pennsylvania on July 2002 in which a water breakthrough occurred when the active mine came too close to a nearby abandoned flooded mine.  Fortunately, all the trapped miners were safely rescued.  This incident, however, raised the awareness that the “status quo” is unacceptable and that remote-sensing technologies need to be developed and employed to detect such subsurface anomalies to improve mine safety.

Based on his extensive geophysical experience, Gochioco already knows which geophysical technologies and methodologies will likely and will unlikely work.  Given the mine depth and geologic conditions of the study mine, three methods were proposed; namely, high-resolution 2D surface seismic reflection, vertical seismic profiling, and underground inseam seismic.

 

Coal Company Projects – From the mid-1970s to 2000, coal geophysics was once the exclusive domain of a major coal company that learned how to leverage its exploration and production risks by employing various geophysical methods to detect and image subsurface geologic and man-made anomalies in advance of mine development.  The “genie” is now out of the bottle and these same technologies are available to any coal companies interested in leveraging their risks and/or addressing their complex challenges in mining coal.  The same professionals responsible for building the successful multi-faceted coal exploration program for CONSOL Energy Inc., started their own consulting services.


Electromagnetic (EM) surveys were conducted to study the
environmental impact of undermining streams with shallow cover.


Early EM field surveys were conducted to detect and image abandoned
legacy oil/gas wells in the Appalachia coal basin.


With MSHA funding, the US coal geophysics program was revitalized
again after being dormant for several years.

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