Analysis of microcirculation flows between microzones in face areas of blind shear stopes in potash mines with different ventilation methods

The article describes a new, heuristically useful method of detailed studies into the ventilation flow structure and the resulting air quality at workplaces of shearer and selfpropelling car operators in case of different method ventilation of blind stope face areas in potash mines. In this method, the main technologically and aerologically distinguished zones in a blind stope are divided to microzones, and the microcirculation flows between these microzones are then analyzed. It is shown that the air quality in the breathing zone and at operator’s workplace is governed by vortex flows of scales much less than dimension of a stope. It is proposed to denote such vortexes as microcirculation flows as they circulate between microzones—small localities in a stope. The introduction of these notions, which are new in the mine aerology, allows microzoning, i.e. division of free air space in face areas of blind shear stopes into microzones. As a result, it is possible to comprehensively analyze and better understand air flow mechanisms which govern the air quality in the breathing zones of miners and to make correct engineering solutions on ventilation control. The proposed method is applicable to theoretical analysis and on-site monitoring of vortex dynamics in two classical modes of ventilation in blind stopes—blowing and suction. It is shown that the blowing method, which is the best for drilling and blasting, loses its advantages in shear stopes, while the suction method shows benefits during fully mechanized heading and shearing. It is specified that, although the suction ventilation is yet unallowed in mines, it possesses a high potential for airing efficiency improvement, especially in potash and rock salt mines.

Keywords: microzoning, microzone, microcirculation flow, face area ventilation in blind shear stopes, potash mines, salt dust, ventilation mode, shearing system, air flow, displacement, mixing.
For citation:

Fainburg G. Z., Isaevich A. G. Analysis of microcirculation flows between microzones in face areas of blind shear stopes in potash mines with different ventilation methods. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2020;(3):58-73. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236-1493-2020-3-0-58-73.


The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Project No. 17-45-590657.

Issue number: 3
Year: 2020
Page number: 58-73
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 622.454
DOI: 10.25018/0236-1493-2020-3-0-58-73
Article receipt date: 14.11.2019
Date of review receipt: 23.12.2019
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 20.02.2020
About authors:

G.Z. Fainburg1, Dr. Sci. (Eng.), Professor, Chief Researcher, e-mail:,
A.G. Isaevich1, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), Head of Sector, e-mail:,
1 Mining Institute of Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 614007, Perm, Russia.


For contacts:

A.G. Isaevich, e-mail:


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