Some readers have been emailing me about the Utah mine disaster saying the mine owners are using some seriously fishy arguments. I am in no way shape or form a geologist, but after reading the coverage of the Utah mine collapse I can't help thinking the CEO saying it was an earthquake - not a mine collapse caused by unsafe practices - comes across as someone being deceptive.
Scientists believe the seismic waves in the area of the Crandall Canyon mine were "the signature of the collapse and that the collapse was not caused by an earthquake," said James W. Dewey, a seismologist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.
Scientists have not ruled out a natural earthquake since the region surrounding the mine is seismically active, and they do not know the exact time the mine collapsed.
On Monday, University of Utah seismographs recorded seismic waves of 3.9 magnitude near the mine. At least 10 aftershocks were felt more than 24 hours after the collapse, with the strongest registering 2.2 magnitude.
Scientists say quakes caused by mine collapses tend to occur at shallower depths and at different frequencies than natural earthquakes.
The first motions of the Utah disturbance indicated a downward movement consistent with a collapse, scientists said. If it was a natural quake, it would have produced up and down motions on the seismograms. The quake occurred anywhere from 2,000 to 8,500 feet underground.
Mine officials insisted Monday's accident was caused by a natural disaster.
"This was caused by an earthquake, not something that Murray Energy ... did or our employees did or our management did," an irate Robert E. Murray, chairman of mine owner Murray Energy Corp. of Cleveland, said at a televised news conference. "It was a natural disaster. An earthquake. And I'm going to prove it to you."
Then it gets a little disturbing. Usually with industry denialism, it's things like cherry-picking and other tactics to create a deceptive picture. You need plausible deniability when the full story comes out. However, this Murray guy seems to just be pulling data out of thin air.
The company released a statement saying the depth of the earthquake occurred in a region that was 3,500 feet deeper than where the miners were.
The company also claimed the shaking lasted four minutes. Utah and USGS scientists don't know exactly how long the shaking lasted, but they said a 3.9 magnitude quake would cause jolts of just a few seconds.
By contrast, the 9.0 magnitude quake in 2004 in the Indian Ocean caused six minutes of shaking, USGS geophysicist John Bellini said.
There have been numerous examples of mine collapses triggering ground vibrations sometimes confused with quakes. The USGS has recorded at least seven such instances since 1994, including last year's collapse of an abandoned mine in Virginia that registered a 4.3 magnitude.
Although mining activities have been shown to produce quakes, the opposite is rare. Scientists say it's unusual for a temblor to damage a mine unless it was a big one. In 1976, a 7.8 magnitude quake in China wreaked havoc on coal mines beneath the city of Tangshan.
It's impossible for me to judge this, I'd like to hear from people with knowledge in the field whether or not this sounds reasonable. To me though, this does not pass the smell test.
Murray, a former miner who survived two accidents on the job before mortgaging his home to found his company, has in the past taken on politicians pushing for more stringent safety measures, the environmental lobby and labor unions.
After last year's Sago mine disaster in which 12 men were trapped and killed in West Virginia, Murray opposed legislation by lawmakers there and in his home state of Ohio that would require miners to wear emergency tracking devices.
Murray called the proposed legislation "extremely misguided" and accused the politicians of "playing politics with my employees' safety," the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Before the mine collapse, the businessman was most well known as a staunch detractor of global warming.
"The science of global warming is suspect," Murray told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in June.
At a news conference Tuesday, Murray announced it could take three days for emergency workers to rescue the trapped miners and denied reports that the mine accident was a result of a dangerous procedure called "retreat mining."
Uh oh. So, we have a guy with a history of playing hands from the denialist deck of cards, with a spattering of global warming crankery seemingly pulling data out of thin air that conflicts with the USGS and other scientists' analysis. On top of that, there is a suggestion of a specific dangerous practice that would have caused this collapse. Something definitely smells a little ripe by now. But then it gets worse:
He insisted the collapse resulted from an earthquake and accused the United Mine Workers of America labor union of propelling the story about retreat mining in an attempt to organize more workers.
The UMWA has claimed, and media agencies have reported, that the mine was damaged as a result of a practice called retreat mining, in which the pillars of coal holding up the mine's roof are excavated after all the coal between the columns has been removed.
"Retreat mining had nothing to do with the disaster," Murray said at Tuesday's news conference. "It was primary mining on the advance. ... There are eight solid pillars where the men are right now. ... I'm not going to respond to retreat mining anymore. It was invented by people with motives to damage the coal industry."
"These individuals have given very false statements. They know nothing about the damage in the mine or the rescue efforts that are under way. I caution the media to very much question the veracity of these sources," Murray said of the UMWA.
"The UMWA is trying to organize the mine," he said.
Now we have a conspiracy theory. It's looking worse and worse for Mr. Murray. I have no reason to trust the union more that Murray, but based on the tactics, I can't help but be suspicious of Murray. His statements do not pass the smell test here.
I am a geologist and I have briefly worked in a mine in Idaho. The possibility of an undetected earthquake causing the collapse of this mine is minimal. The seismic recordings are very definitive of a large collapse of rock. The description of the collapse causing a huge blast of air that knocked out the ventilation system and tremors that lasted over a minute or two suggests to me that the entire mine might be collapsed, not just the entrance.
According to last nights news, retreat mining was going on in this mine. The owner claims that it was not going on where the miners were when the collapse occurred. He has claimed that there is plenty of oxygen for the miners, and that because of technical difficulties he had not yet placed a supply of food and water in the mine for emergencies like this. How he could possibly know where they were at the moment of collapse seems to be more about protecting his image than the truth. It is interesting to note that his 6 workers are 3 Mexican and 3 East-European, countries that do not have a good reputation for looking after their workers safety when it cuts into profits.
I hope the mine owners will be billed for the massive rescue efforts being carried out because of their placing profit over the lives of their workers.
It is easy for reporters,the media and those who have not worked in the underground side of mining to write a story about a mining related issue. They just ask questions from whoever is standing the closest to them,many times this being a family member of a miner who is praying for the life of a loved one and is not interested in a media frenzy or a reporter of somekind asking questions that are of no help or of no use to the trapped miners or the families. Casting blame for something like this should be looked into later when the miners are brought topside. A professional coal miner WILL NOT preform his job in an unsafe manner. Do you stupid reporters not understand that these men work in this and other mines on a daily basis. The mine is their home away from home so to speak,like you going to your OFFICE. Being an underground miner takes guts,nerve,and the willingness to work in an ever changing invironment. You take a cut of coal,bolt it and you are now standing where nobody has stood for millions of years. You can bolt,truss- bolt,strap,crib,timber,roc-loc,or any other means to hold the top up it can still come down at times. Do you actually think that a group of men are going to work in a mine that is so unsafe,imminent danger all around as the media tries to portray and not do their best to fix the problem. If they were pillering, these men were vigilant on their toes looking for any problems. If they were advancing the same applies. Miners know the dangers of their job,DO YOU. It is easy looking at MSHA records and saying they had violations.BUT,do you understand what they are for. Are they S&S,104d or what type.Were they abated,corrected or what.Why not tell the whole story about the citations. Underground coal mining is a job that requires you to take from mother nature the coal that is holding up a mountain,if not done correctly it will fall.All miners know this,it is common sense. Mining is a job that a mistake at times can not be taken away,because it took your life and maybe other peoples with it. Alot of accidents that happen in a coal mine are caused by the miners themselves,the bolting machine operator didn't tell his foreman or the oncoming pinner man that he felt a seperation at 8' while drilling,maybe the pinner was down and got behind so they didn't drill their test holes as required by law to test the top above the anchor point of the bolts.Who knows what happened. To you in the media (if you do not know what you are talking about SHUT UP just SHUT UP and stop missleading the the people)
He insisted the collapse resulted from an earthquake and accused the United Mine Workers of America labor union of propelling the story about retreat mining in an attempt to organize more workers.
"It was invented by people with motives to damage the coal industry."
Is he seriously suggesting the United Mine Workers of America want to damage the coal industry? Wouldn't that put them out of work?
Robert: Might you happen to be the Robert E. Murray discussed in this article?
The UMWA are into politics so they use the media as an advertising tool,hey ,free publicity. The UMWA does not want to damage the coal industry nor does anybody else want to damage the industry they lead or work in. The UMWA is for safer work practices I would say,but they are also like a political machine.In meaning use any opportunity to exploit their cause.
The United Mine Workers of America hate America. Duh.
The UMWA is for safer work practices I would say,but they are also like a political machine.In meaning use any opportunity to exploit their cause.
So... using the media to bring attention to safety issues is bad?
Why after mining accidents and/or disasters does the federal and state governments allow the company involved to continue to run the show? Does this go on in any other instance? Should we start allowing airlines to be in charge after airplane crashes? This mining guy in Utah sounds like a nutcase. Should he be in charge of himself?!!
First off to you guys ragging on Robert,I don't know if he is from Utah or not,but he is absolutly right in what he wrote.I have spent 15 years in underground coal mines in pillar sections and longwall mines and every time there is a tradgedy at a mine I have to listen to b.s. from people in the media who clearly have no idea about what they are talking about.As far as the U.M.W.A. goes just think back to Sago and they were saying pretty much the same things ten as now.From personal expierience my Granddad was killed in a rooffall in a union mine.Graqvity works the same in union the same as non-union mines.WE,as miners do everything possible to have a safe enviroment to work in.Unfortunatlly sometimes Mother Nature is going to show us how tough she is despite our best efforts. As for MSHA citations if the common person would read some of the citations they write they would scratch there heads at the stupidity of a few of our government employees.MSHA is very much needed in the mining industry.Fatalities in mining befor 1977 prove that but in my 15 years of mining I've seen MSHA move from trying to improve conditions for miners to an organization solely looking to collect fines from mining companies
They actually don't run the show. The company has its own highly trained mine rescue team. Who do you think would know the mine better,a federal or state mine rescue team that has never been in the mine or the very people that work in it on a daily basis. People just don't get it when it comes to a underground coal mine.It is not a building,not an office,nor is it outside.It is a bunch of headings and crosscuts,overcasts & undercasts,return & intake airways,regulators for air,splits of air,stoppings,line curtains and check curtains in the face area. It is not as simple as one may think. You could knock out one or two wrong stoppings and short circuit the air and in doing so deprive the trapped men of air. It is ok to assume or guess in the media,now days that is how they make their living,if story isn't what they think it should be the reporter starts adding to it to make it more interesting. But if one doesn't know what he is talking about when it comes to peoples lives then I would assume it would be best to sit back and shut up and listen and learn,not make assumptions and half truth stories when one doesn't have all the facts and does not know what goes on in a coal mine nor know the CFR-30 and the rules and regulations of mining!!!!!!
''Underground coal mining is a job that requires you to take from mother nature the coal that is holding up a mountain''
As a mining engineering and rock mechanics expert I can guarantee that a seam of coal is not strong enough to hold up the entire mountain above it. Luckily, the surrounding rock shares a lot of the job. Regulations are just guidelines that help you in a general situation. In the special situation of a particular mine and a particular area of pillar removal you have to take local conditions into consideration. That might require that the final pillar sizes are much larger than the regulations suggest - particularly where retreat mining is going on.
I hope the miners are safe.
Robert and others, I appreciate how you guys feel, and what you're trying to say, but I am unsure of the relevance.
I'm mostly curious about this supposed earthquake Murray is blaming for the mine collapse and whether or not his actions suggest deception. What aspect of the media coverage exactly do you feel has been overblown? The fact that they're covering this character who is contradicting all the geologists on the observed seismic activity? Or just that they believed the suggestion of the Union that retreat mining was occurring?
I admit to knowing nothing about retreat mining etc., and just have to acknowledge its mention in the various reports. It's the CEO's bizarre challenge to the USGS and other on the seismic data that has me shaking my head. It seems like he's getting started on a coverup - he's not waiting to get the miners out and safe before disrupting the investigation so I think he's fair game.
Well,you do have a point. Then again it could be that he is like alot of citizens of this great country of ours and is in some way beating the media machine at beating him down like they always seem to do. Lets face it,1) all the facts are not in 2)the hard working miners are not breathing the same air we breath outside or in your office right now 3)THEY ARE TRAPPED IN A COAL MINE,DO YOU THINK THEY ARE SITTING THERE THINKING OF WHO TO BLAME THIS ON or trying to survive 4)If they were pillering(retreat mining)I am sure that is part of their mining plan as submitted to the inspectors as part of their permit process. IF and IF they were not following mining plans it isn't that easy to hide the fact that you are gutting the inside of a mountain,not following your mining plan and roof control plan(roof control plan is also submitted during permitt process)what I am saying is is that nobody wants to see this happen and tries to prevent,avoid these situations at any cost.If they were not following any of the submitted plans then the inspectors assigned to that mine would have or should have seen it and corrected the problem.If the whole working section was in such dissaray as the media tries to make one think then the miners themselves would have corrected it or not worked till it was corrected. AGAIN,this is a dangerous job and the men will do what it takes to be safe.Like the hard hat sticker of years past used to say "work safe today buddy so you can work again tomorrow" Mr. Murray is trying to save peoples lives right now. I am sure he is not thinking of the so called politically correct thing to say at this time. A parson can sit in a mine and hear coal bumps,high roof fractures as they happen. I can think of alot of things that could have happaned in this situation but it would be wrong to sit and judge or say anything till all miners are topside and the facts are in. There is a time and place for everything.THIS MINE SITE IS NOT THE TIME OR PLACE TO BE JUDGING ANYTHING OR ANYBODY!! HOW ABOUT CONCENTRATING ON BRINGING OUR FELLOW MINERS OUTSIDE IN AS GOOD AS HEALTH AS POSSIBLE....
I have never seen a seam of coal that mother nature added built in roof support in the form of rock columns or what ever.A seam of coal is vast and for most part continuous. Look at the Powder River Basin the Pittsburgh seam. They are vast covering many many miles. It is as it is called "seam of coal" rock under it and rock above it. You leave pillers of coal to hold the roof(mountain above) up while advancing,when you go as far as you want to go for that section and it will not interfere with future mining around it you start the retreat mining process or pillering in wich you pull the pillers (mine out) This is done systematically and with the utmost care and precautions taken AND by following the mining plan that was approved by the Inspactors (MSHA) This process is to get all the coal as possible making the roof collapse as you go in a controlled fashion(mother nature co-operating)
Rather than talk about how coal is mined, describe in detail how the USGS is incorrect when it says the seismic activity is consistent with a cave-in rather than an earthquake.
How far away did the USGS pick up the readings. Was the sensor right next to the mine. Was it a vast seismic reading covering a large area or just in that area.
Maybe the seismic reading was from the mine the USGS picked up. Maybe the mountain just squatted or sat down as some call it causing an enormous amount of pressure on the pillers causing a chain reaction of coal bumps or rib-rolls.If that is the case I could see the USGS picking it up. It could have been a massive roof fall covering many crosscuts/headings. Who knows at this point in the operation. My understanding is that it was a squeese or the mountain sat down on the supports(pillers) causing them to bump(excessive downward pressure on the pillers causing them to burst) If a mountain desides to sit down on you there is nothing you can do if it is sudden and didn't leave any warning signs like cutting along the ribs,sagging,stress cracks etc. There could be a vast void in the top that went undetected and started high up and fell to the immidiate strata above breaking it,who knows.
I'd just like to preface this with the statement that I don't know anything about mining/geology/seismology, and like Mark, I'm judging the statements made by the actors involved (only). I have no other useful way to judge this, than to look at what the experts are saying...
Maybe the mountain just squatted or sat down as some call it causing an enormous amount of pressure on the pillers causing a chain reaction of coal bumps or rib-rolls.
To my vague understanding, this would fit what the USGS says, and be completely contradictory to what the mine owner is saying. Doesn't that sound like the mine owner is covering his butt? All the geologists are saying that it would take a massive earthquake to cause this thing to collapse, and that the seismic wave were not big enough to cause that. Also, the seismic waves weren't deep enough and didn't have the proper type of up/down to them (whatever that means). Contrast that with what the mine owner is, and one has to wonder, why is he contradicting what all the experts are saying? I mean, even if this thing is no one's fault (which it may well be), even if no one screwed up, and this was just an unlucky event, why would Robert Murray be contradicting every other expert that has been interviewed?
Who knows,could just be upset and lashing out at something or somebody. Maybe throwing in a lot of negatives to keep the media going,that is publicity. Just guessing,but if he heard that from the media first then maybe just bucking the media machine. Could be Insurance doesn't pay for a natural disaster. Could be insurance doesn't pay if caused by negligence of operator,who knows. I can only give my opinion on this based on lots of experience. Lets all pray for the miners and their fmilies and those inside helping with the clean-up effort.
Maybe throwing in a lot of negatives to keep the media going,that is publicity.
I think that's even more cynical than suggesting that he is covering his butt.
Could be insurance doesn't pay if caused by negligence of operator,who knows.
I think that's a subset of the "covering his butt" hypothesis.
Lets all pray for the miners and their fmilies and those inside helping with the clean-up effort.
I also hope that things turn out well for the miners and their families. And if anyone turns out to have been at fault here, I hope they are held to account.
My family has had personal contact with Bob Murray and he is not a genuine guy. My uncle and father were miners for Maple Creek when he bought it. They took a hit from Murray to keep the mine running, in exchange for future promises of the first crack at new jobs. In turn? Murray gave them none of his promises and tried to hold them out of their promised new jobs at his new mine. Murray IS NOT for the workers of his mind as he suggests. Maple Creek was under heavy scrutiny from inspectors and the federal government when it was inspected. Murray has been fighting miner safety and the UMWA for years now. I, for one, hope that this time he didn't cost six miners their lives.
may god bless these miners
It should be pretty obvious by looking at multiple seismic recordings from multiple sites exactly what happened.
If you are mining on a fault, there is strain in the fault, and you remove the material that is propping the fault apart, that is remove the material that is keeping the fault from slipping, the fault is going to slip. Is that a "natural", or an "artifial" earthquake?
If the actual fault goes through the mine, then it is pretty clear that the mine influenced the fault. If there is strain built up in the fault, it isn't clear to me that there is any way to prevent it from slipping once you mine around it.
The standards for supporting pillars of coal likely do not take into account any side thrust from built up strain from an active fault. They likely only account for the static load of the overlying rock. 1500 feet of rock is not a small amount of mass to hold up. When you remove the coal, you remove the ability of the coal seam to transmit shear.
When you do remove the last of the coal, and the roof collapses, it doesn't always do so all at once. The overlying rock breaks which introduces voids which increases the volume of the overlying rock. That volume increase is not always isotropic. That might introduce shear stress. Depending how the rock breaks, it could easily take quite a while for the fall to happen. The only way that shaking can continue for a period of time is from continued energy input. That could come from the slow fall and breakage of the overlying rock. I don't see a mechanism for long shaking from a tiny local earthquake.
The seam thickness is reportedly 8 or 12 feet. If you get a little side movement, that could build up a side thrust which could accumulate until it can't accumulate any more.
I found an interesting paper on seismic activity in Utah mines which includes this area.
If all the seismic stations in this report were active when the collapse occurred, it will be very easy to document what happened.
I am skeptical as to the timing of the claims. The "best" analysis will be to take all the data from every station that picked up the ground movement and analyze it carefully. I presume that the staff at the mine is more concerned with working to rescue the miners and not analyze data from off-site. For him to have said the analysis is complete and unambiguous he knows what it is (and is contrary to the researchers who are running the seismic arrays say) is simply not credible.
I think with Robert Murray already having a reputation as a global warming denier, he likely is a denier of other things too.
What daedalus2u said is on the spot. Get the facts then go over them before making a conclusion. Mr.Murray does have his momments according to the media. It is sad that people are trying to cast blame and critisize what a person said as miners are trying to stay alive and with no passion for the families. It is true that it could have been caused from a ride/carry over. When you take out the support from inside a mountain strange things do happen. Although it is thrilling to stand at the breaker line and watch a mountain fall,you hope. Sometime it stands and looks like a big parking garage without the stripes or supports. Just wide open.
Miners know the dangers of their job,DO YOU. It is easy looking at MSHA records and saying they had violations.BUT,do you understand what they are for. Are they S&S,104d or what type.Were they abated,corrected or what.Why not tell the whole story about the citations.
From personal expierience my Granddad was killed in a rooffall in a union mine.Graqvity works the same in union the same as non-union mines.WE,as miners do everything possible to have a safe enviroment to work in.Unfortunatlly sometimes Mother Nature is going to show us how tough she is despite our best efforts. As for MSHA citations if the common person would read some of the citations they write they would scratch there heads at the stupidity of a few of our government employees.
Either there's some sockpuppetry going on here, or Robert and Barry coincidentally have uncannily similar writing styles, right down to the all-caps and the quirky lack of spaces around punctuation marks.
Robert, you have a lot of emotional appeals, but honestly, I don't see a lot of substance to your arguments. Yes, miners are sure to be concerned about their safety. But that is neither here nor there: the reality is that the industry is still full of corner cutting, safety violations, and deception about these things. And in this case we have a mine owner who is on record as opposing safety regulations that would seem, if they were in place in this tragedy, to have helped, not hurt his lost miners, and who is seemingly denying what seems to be strong prima facie evidence that something went wrong with the mine, not an earthquake.
I'm growing increasingly worried about whether Mr. Murray's antics are endangering the lives of the trapped miners. Let's hope I'm wrong...
No sign of trapped miners as drill reaches chamber
* Story Highlights
* Mine CEO: Draw no conclusions from the lack of sound detected
* Testing shows air in mine chamber is "very good"
* Opening tunnel to trapped miners could take several days, CEO says
* Mine collapsed early Monday; there has been no contact with six trapped men
HUNTINGTON, Utah (CNN) -- A microphone lowered into a narrow hole drilled into a mine cavity where six workers are believed to be trapped has detected no sound so far, officials said early Friday.
There has been no communication with the six men since Monday's mine collapse.
The 2.5-inch hole reached the cavity in the central Utah mine more than 1,800 feet below the surface around about 10 p.m. MT Thursday (midnight ET), according to Richard Stickler, assistant secretary of the Department of Labor for mine safety and health.
Mine owner Bob Murray said no conclusions could be drawn yet from the lack of sound detected.
"The fact that we have not picked up any sound I believe should not be interpreted as bad news," Murray said.
One encouraging sign, he added, was testing showed that the air in the cavity was "very, very good."
"That means that if they're alive, they're going to stay alive in that atmosphere," Murray said.
A second and bigger bore hole -- more than 8 inches in diameter -- had drilled some 720 feet by Thursday.
Those efforts were proceeding slowly, vice president of Murray Energy Rob Moore said Thursday. A lost motor had to be replaced that day, he said. VideoWatch how trapped miners would communicate with rescuers ï¿½
Moore cautioned earlier that when the cavity is breached, "there is the possibility we may not learn anything conclusive. It may hit in an area that the miners are not able to get to. We're hopeful that we hit the void and the miners are able to go to the two-way communication devices and let us know their well-being."
Murray said Thursday that if the miners survived the mine collapse early Monday mine collapse, they could continue to live on fresh air, food and water supplied through the holes until crews can remove tons of coal and rock that clogged a collapsed tunnel that officials believe will lead to them. See where the miners are thought to be trapped ï¿½
That process could take four or five more days, he said early Friday.
Between what they had packed with their lunches and what was stored in the mine, the men had about a week's worth of water, Murray said. PhotoSee the rescue efforts at the mine ï¿½
In addition, each man was equipped with a light and about 12 hours of battery power, he said.
Small video cameras will eventually be lowered down the bore holes, allowing rescuers to make a visual search for life.
While the mining company has not released the miners' names, family and friends have confirmed to CNN the identities of four of them as Kerry Allred, Carlos Payan, Manuel Sanchez and Brandon Phillips.
Relatives of Sanchez -- a coal miner for 17 years -- have complained about Murray's treatment of them since the collapse.
His sister, Maria Buenrostro, told CNN it has been difficult for her family to get accurate information about the fate of her brother.
Buenrostro told CNN that Murray stormed out of a meeting after family members started asking hard questions.
"We get upset and he gets angry and he leaves," Buenrostro said. "That's wrong."
She said it was made more difficult because not everyone speaks English. Murray said he has taken steps to make sure information is also given to them in Spanish.
Murray said Thursday that he has asked a Spanish-speaking miner to help him communicate with the families.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. were among officials at the site Thursday.
Huntsman told reporters a C-17 cargo plane left Mississippi for Utah on Thursday and stopped in Kansas to pick up a truck "with some of the most sophisticated high-resolution camera technology available."
Murray has insisted a 3.9-magnitude earthquake caused the mine collapse, and has said at least 10 "aftershocks" have been recorded, with seismic activity earlier wiping out more than 300 feet of progress and halting rescue efforts temporarily.
He has said reaching the miners with rescue workers will take at least a week, "and it could be a lot more," if seismic activity recurs.
Seismologists and geophysicists have not been as sure, saying the seismic activity they measured appeared to stem from the collapse of the mine itself.
On Thursday, University of California-Berkley seismologist Douglas Dreger said in a statement that the data show the shaking that was detected bore the signature of a collapse and "not a tectonic earthquake."
Experts have said the so-called "aftershocks" could be the rock adjusting after the collapse.
Murray denied the trapped miners were involved in "retreat mining" -- a dangerous practice in which pillars of coal holding up the ceiling of a mine are destroyed in an effort to dislodge more coal.
While conceding his company has done retreat mining, that practice was not being implemented on Monday during the cave-in.
About 50 representatives of the Mine Safety and Health Administration are on the site, Stickler said. He said the mine is in compliance with federal laws.
However, inspectors cited it for 30 violations this year, MSHA records show. Recommended fines in the 10 cases involving penalties ranged from $60 to $524.
Over the past three years, the mine was cited at least 300 times -- with 118 of those citations for violations serious enough to cause death, records show.
Murray downplayed the significance of the citations. "We have one of the best safety records in the industry," he told CNN Thursday.
The mine employs about 65 people and last year yielded nearly 605,000 tons of coal, according to the U.S. Mining Safety and Health Administration.
I had the same thought myself, Wes. "Barry" seems like a classic case of a thinly-veiled sockpuppet. Also, given that Barry was the one who responded to my question about whether our Robert was Robert E. Murray ("First off to you guys ragging on Robert,I don't know if he is from Utah or not,but he is absolutly right in what he wrote."), this makes me even more suspicious.
I'll refrain from comment on the scientific issues as I quite simply don't have the expertise necessary to evaluate the claims. From my experience on Wikipedia, I do have a fair bit of knowledge of sockpuppetry, though, and this does seem to be a case of it. Now's about the time where we'd ask the admins to compare the IPs, so if it's possible here, you might want to check that out, Mark.
It's two different locations, don't worry.
Huh, well I guess it's just an odd coincidence then about their similar styles and viewpoints. I apologize for the accusations.
Here's a link to USGS for this event:
No,not the same. I do not live in Utah or know Mr.Murray or anything about the company.Just a well educated underground miner with years of experience.Too many actually,it disabled me. The coal industry as a whole for some reason is treated like a bad industry or as being taboo.Coal miners especially the older ones have seen tragedy of some sort.It is not easy hearing about mining accidents,roof falls,electrocutions,equipment accidents,etc. especially when you have been involved in them. I read in the media the things that are written and they are total missinformation.Termonology is wrong,explinations on how and why things happen due to the missunderstanding or lack of knowledge of the industry. All mines are under different geografic conditions thus under different working and mining conditions.It is reasonable to say an earthquake caused this.Why the denial I don't know. It is possible that the mine roof fell. Why the denial I don't know.The only way to know is to get there at the fall area and look at the mining practice in use at the time and decide then.
Well,the cameras will be down soon and get a look at the area. The only way the cameras will give any sign of the miners is if it falls into an area that the roof has not collapsed.If it falls into an area that the fall occured in it will be in a dommed area from wich the rock fell and not be low enough to see down the headings and crosscuts. It is sad to say this but most time you have a fall that goes that far past the last open 500' is where they found the cable to the power center it usually takes out the whole working section or at least the majority of it and sometime the last open crosscuts.Then again they could have retreated inby to the face area into a heading but that would put them into the farthest part of that area of the mine.I do know this,when a large fall happens you just run outby by instinct.
Pray for these men.
I teach fault plane solutions to my high school geology students. It's tough, but very fascinating and revealing. The global seismograph network first implimented by the US in the 1950's was designed to detect Soviet nuclear tests. You can't hide an explosion from a seismograph network, nor can you hide a mine collapse. Both fault solutions look very distinctive, and nothing like a tectonic fault along which rocks slip. The Utah event would have been detected by dozens of seismographs around the region, and would show the unmistakeable signature of a collapse.
Craig said a lot in his statement.I didn't know that about seismograph,or how accurate they are. Must have been a HUGE shift in the area from the mine sitting down.
Two Army soldiers, whose combat duties include working to prevent "friendly fire" mishaps, narrowly avoided harm when an F-16 fighter jet from Hill Air Force Base opened fire on their SUV while driving at the Utah Test and Training Range.
A professional coal miner can preform his job in safe manner. Small video cameras will eventually be lowered down the bore holes, allowing rescuers to make a visual search for life and security. this is a dangerous job and the men will do what it takes to be safe. So Lets all pray for the miners and their families and those inside helping with the clean-up effort. that the we can help!! thumbs up on su!!