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West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training

Emergency Seismic Detection System
Last revised:  07/05/12 10:00 AM


West Virginia Mine Safety Technology Task Force report (May 29th, 2006) recommended that the Director of the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training provide portable seismic locating systems at each WV OMHST Regional Office (4 locations) for use in locating trapped miners and that each office maintain a trained staff capable of delivering the system to a mine site and to deploying the system immediately and without delay.

After researching available technology it was determined that development was required to configure a system to meet the West Virginia goal.

The West Virginia Emergency Seismic Detection System is envisioned as part of overall mine emergency system that includes extra caches of SCSRs, communication and tracking, and emergency shelters.  The function of the West Virginia seismic capability is as a communication backup in the case that all miners were not able to escape and some had returned to the emergency shelters.  In this scenario the portable seismic unit could deploy over the location of the shelter and listen for signaling from miners.  If the mine’s emergency communication systems were disabled by the accident this information would provide critical information to mine rescue teams in planning their rescue approach.

Reports and presentations that were created as the result of this recommendation:

The Report of the WV Mine Safety Technology Task Force  Taskforce Report
The Report of the First Workshop of Seismic Miner Location First Workshop
Seismic Fields Test 1 Seismic Fields Test
Seismic System Development Update 1 Seismic Development Update1
Seismic System Development Update 2 Seismic Development Update2

Background Documents on seismic location:

USBM Seismic Location Report 1974 http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pdfs/ri8567.pdf
Seismic Wave Explanation   Seismic Wave Explanation
MSHA Emergency Operation Capabilities MSHA Emergency Oper. Cap.

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