Geodesic measurements of mining area deformations indicate that their description fails to be regular, as opposed to what the predictions based on the relationships of the geometric-integral theory suggest. The Knothe theory, most commonly applied in that case, considers such parameters as the exploitation coefficient a and the angle of the main influences range tgβ, describing the geomechanical properties of the medium, as well as the mining conditions. The study shows that the values of the parameters a = 0.8 and tgβ = 2.0, most commonly adopted for the prediction of surface deformation, are not entirely adequate in describing each and every mining situation in the analysed rock mass. Therefore, the paper aims to propose methodology for determining the value of exploitation coefficient a, which allows to predict the values of surface subsidence caused by underground coal mining with roof caving, depending on geological and mining conditions. The characteristics of the analysed areas show that the following factors affect surface subsidence: thickness of overburden, type of overburden strata, type of Carboniferous strata, rock mass disturbance and depth of exploitation. These factors may allow to determine the exploitation coefficient a, used in the Knothe theory for surface deformation prediction.
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