University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Mines Mine Ventilation


Mine ventilation has been used to dilute, contain, and take away hazardous gases and dust that endangers the lives of underground mine workers each and every day. The main purpose of an underground ventilation system is to maintain the quality of air as close as possible to the quality of the air outside of the mine. The development of a ventilation system has been challenged in recent years in order to increased face advance rates (clean air getting to the workers) which increases a mines production, an increase in production means an increase in panel size (face of the mine). The exhaust from underground diesel equipment can also affect the health of miners. Monitoring systems are required to measure the diesel particulate matter (DPM) dumped into the mine by diesel engine equipment. No matter what the airborne contaminant is, an efficient underground ventilation system can easily control the air quality by diluting the contaminants with an increase airflow.

Back Support is needed here where the rock is soft (Delta Mine Training Center near Delta Junction, Alaska)

Delta Mine Training Center in Delta Junction, Alaksa
The most dangerous situation is a fire breaking out in an underground mine. Considering a large underground mine has limited air, a fire can easily consume all the oxygen and leave miners for dead. Around the clock research is conducted in order to stop the spread of fire smoke, reduce its oxygen consumption, and maintain an oxygen level long enough to allow mine workers to escape. All of which are examples as to why an underground mine ventilation system is responsible for circulating the amount and direction of air within the mine.


The accuracy of calculations within a mine ventilation and air conditioning system is critical for the sole reason that human lives are at risk. Therefore, there is a much needed understanding of basic physics and fluid dynamics.