We describe a multipart study to quantify the potential ground-shaking hazard to Joes Valley Dam, a 58-m-high earthfill dam, posed by mining-induced seismicity (MIS) from future underground coal mining, which could approach as close as ???1 km to the dam. To characterize future MIS close to the dam, we studied MIS located ???3-7 km from the dam at the Trail Mountain coal mine. A 12-station local seismic network (11 stations above ground, one below, combining eight triaxial accelerometers and varied velocity sensors) was operated in the Trail Mountain area from late 2000 through mid-2001 for the dual purpose of (1) continuously monitoring and locating MIS associated with longwall mining at a depth of 0.5-0.6 km and (2) recording high-quality data to develop ground-motion prediction equations for the shallow MIS. (Ground-motion attenuation relationships and moment-tensor results are reported in companion articles.) Utilizing a data set of 1913 earthquakes (M ??? 2.2), we describe space-time-magnitude distributions of the observed MIS and source-mechanism information. The MIS was highly correlated with mining activity both in space and time. Most of the better-located events have depths constrained within ??0.6 km of mine level. For the preponderance (98%) of the 1913 located events, only dilatational P-wave first motions were observed, consistent with other evidence for implosive or collapse-type mechanisms associated with coal mining in this region. We assess a probable maximum magnitude of M 3.9 (84th percentile of a cumulative distribution) for potential MIS close to Joes Valley Dam based on both the worldwide and regional record of coal-mining-related MIS and the local geology and future mining scenarios.
Additional publication details
Coal-mining seismicity and ground-shaking hazard: A case study in the Trail Mountain area, Emery County, Utah