The characterization of deposits

Basis of utilization and development of technologies and machinery (Part 2.1)

Summary: The geological properties of the bituminous coal deposit of the Ruhr area are presented as an example of the characterization of a complex structured deposit. The properties are determined by sedimentary bedded rocks and differently coalified coal seams as well as elements of the constricted tectonics (saddles, synclines, folds, overthrusts) and the extending fracture tectonics (grabens, horsts, faults). The coal seams with their different geometrical and material properties (depths, dimensions of sectional coal beds, dippings, lithotypes) required continuous development of mining technology and machinery in the past in order to justify coal mining supported by subsidies. There are still significant coal reserves left despite a 700 year mining history and a closing of all mines in October 2018. However, the reserves are marginal on a global level. These strategic reserves for Germany can only be economically used in the future if new technologies will be developed.

T‌he first part of this treatise [47] examined a system for the characterization of deposits on the basis of geological bodies and their features. This serves as the basis for the selection, dimensioning, design and development of machinery and systems for mining and for the winning and processing of raw materials.

The succeeding part of the treatise discusses in terms of its characterization a complex deposit, namely the hard-coal deposit of the Ruhr area.

4 Hard coal deposits of the Ruhr region

From Ireland through to Russia, significant deposits of hard-coal were formed in Europe during the...

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