The Research Center of Post-Mining (FZN) at the TH Georg Agricola University (THGA), Bochum/Germany, has a broad field of focus. When it was established in October 2015, research focused initially on the perpetual tasks of the German coal mining industry: long-term mine water management, the management of polder areas and groundwater purification on former mine sites. In May 2019, the FZN added “geomonitoring in post-mining” to its research profile. The aim of this research is to develop innovative technical systems for the integrated monitoring of post-mining activities. The FZN celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2020 and since then has expanded its research further to include “materials science for the preservation of industrial heritage” and “reactivation and transition”.
As a result, the FZN has all the skills and expertise required to help make the post-mining era sustainable, environmentally friendly and economically successful. The aim is not only to preserve this ever-growing expertise, but also to apply it in new ways. The interdisciplinary team shares its findings at specialist conferences and in working groups, and also makes the information available to the public in the form of studies and publications. Since 2019, the FZN’s final reports and studies have also been available as part of its scientific series “Reports on Post-Mining,” which is self-published by the THGA. Two reports have been published to date. In these reports, the authors examine aspects of the mine water rebound process in underground mines.
Volume 1 “Evaluation of Mine Water Rebound Processes” (Melchers et al., 2019) compiles the diverse experiences gained in the long-term and environmentally friendly management of mine water in selected European coal-mining districts (Figure 1). The hydrogeological, mining and water management aspects are systematically evaluated and site-specific features identified. The findings help to illustrate the mine water rebound process and aid understanding. Building on this, volume 2 “Model-Based Sensitivity Analysis of System-Determining Factors”(Westermann, 2000) provides an overview of the key natural and anthropogenic influencing factors. The scale of the effects of certain factors is determined for three underground mines by way of an example and applied to other sites. The findings are used to help actively shape the mining life cycle and plan ahead for the post-mining era.
The plan is to continually expand the scientific series “Reports on Post-Mining” with the FZN’s wide-ranging findings on the topics of mine water management, geomonitoring, materials science and structural change measures. Previous and future reports can be accessed free of charge in digital format at www.nachbergbau.org/berichte-zum-nachbergbau. (THGA/Si.)