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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Tips for Abandoned Mines?? (Viewed 1980 times)
Therrin 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 40 on 11/27/2011 6:04 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by blacklines


this sounds like a drinking game.


I actually found it out while at work late one night. I dunno what I ate but... my H2S monitor went off! I freaked out! Though about it. Realized I ripped a big one not too long before that, wasn't really thinking about it. Did some "tests". Proved my theory.

Though I seem to recall that someone busted some bad gas in a mine we were in once up in the Calico area, and it tripped the quad gas detector. CO and H2S both. The units are pretty sensitive =)


Last trip I was on, we were waiting for some reason, probably for our turn to ascend a line back up a shaft. I got up to the guy in front of me and breathed on his O2 monitor on his helmet band, made it go off, watched him freak out, hehe. (exhaled breath directly into a monitor only has like 17% or so O2)

Give a person a match and they'll be warm for a minute, but light them on fire and they'll be warm for the rest of their life. =)
qwerty05 






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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 41 on 11/28/2011 1:14 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Therrin,
Has your monitor ever gone off in a mine where you really believed the danger to be the mine and not bad breath, etc? If yes, which gas was the danger and what kind of mine was it?

MrSivalls,
Your real life examples come from oil fields. Still I don't deny that with certain geologies it may be present in hard rock mines as well. But since H2S is associated with biological breakdown I suspect the concentrations would be substantially different.

Therrin 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 42 on 11/28/2011 6:11 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by qwerty05
Therrin,
Has your monitor ever gone off in a mine where you really believed the danger to be the mine and not bad breath, etc? If yes, which gas was the danger and what kind of mine was it?

MrSivalls,
Your real life examples come from oil fields. Still I don't deny that with certain geologies it may be present in hard rock mines as well. But since H2S is associated with biological breakdown I suspect the concentrations would be substantially different.


Your second part is not true at all... H2S can be released from seismic shifting in layers in the rock, or during blasting in hardrock mines (not blast fumes, actually released from the rock), and can also be emitted from certain things rotting together. Since H2S is heavy, it will tend to settle to low places and stay there if not properly ventilated. One of my mine rescue friends used to work in a borate mine out in Death Valley, and they had H2S events from time to time in that mine.

I've come across low O2 and H2S. Both in hardrock mines. H2S was in a different semi-flooded mine, walking through it stirs it up and releases it when it's present, as well as disturbing certain wet-rotting materials.

Give a person a match and they'll be warm for a minute, but light them on fire and they'll be warm for the rest of their life. =)
Therrin 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 43 on 11/29/2011 5:02 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Actually, while I was at work last night I recalled a mine I hit both CO and H2S and low O2 in. It's about 6 miles from the mine I'm going to be diving in, and on the grounds of a graveyard (though that has no actual parallel with the gasses thing, the mine is in hard rock and at a level above and set apart from the graves).

It's not like the stuff doesn't exist. Someone messaged me on youtube not long ago after seeing some of my videos, and told me about their best friend who explored mine shafts and died from bad air after getting cocky from not having encountered any for so long, stopped getting his detector calibrated and didn't take it with him anymore.


Bad air, the silent and unseen killer. Beware.

Give a person a match and they'll be warm for a minute, but light them on fire and they'll be warm for the rest of their life. =)
Jonsered 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 44 on 11/29/2011 11:17 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Caution is always important, but quite honestly I've never owned a gas detector. Did take an actual canary to a few questionable mines some years ago, but meh. Going to die from something, someday.

I have changed my personal exploring ethics code. From now on it will be: "Take only aimed shots, leave only hobo corpses." Copper scrappers, meth heads and homeless beware. The Jonsered cometh among you, bringing fear and dread.

djdraco 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 45 on 12/3/2011 11:09 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by fiftyone_eggs
but you can pick up an old fashioned Flame Safety Lamp on eBay for pretty cheap.


I know why you're supposed to use a flame safety lamp, but why not a wheat lamp or just a simple LED lamp? They wouldn't cause an explosion either.

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blacklines 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 46 on 12/4/2011 5:47 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by djdraco


I know why you're supposed to use a flame safety lamp, but why not a wheat lamp or just a simple LED lamp? They wouldn't cause an explosion either.


a "simple LED lamp" is not sealed against explosive gasses, you would in either case want something that is.

Therrin 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 47 on 12/4/2011 9:10 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by blacklines


a "simple LED lamp" is not sealed against explosive gasses, you would in either case want something that is.


That's only really an issue if it's LEL-type gasses you're dealing with. Personally I've never found this to be the case. I'd skimp on that one before any of the others.

Also, damn near any LED light that is IPX8/67 or most of the other water-resistant ratings I'd be fine with to use in a mine with low-level LEL's. For the gasses to penetrate the o-ring or compression seals, it'd have to be at a high enough concentration at atmospheric pressure to invade the seals of your light. Most of the LEL based convo as far as this goes is (in my opinion) circle jerking, when you could be discussing far more "this actually might happen" scenarios.


For all you know, a simple LED light could very well be sealed well enough from explosive gasses. I really hate blanket statements.
LED's are far safer in that regard than bulb lamps ever were. The only place you might pick up a spark is in the switch, and it'd be amazingly small at that, depending on the type of switch.



If you want REAL ADVICE for safety while exploring mines...

WEAR A FUCKING HELMET!!!
- Can't stress this one enough. Can't count how many ppl didn't want to or care to wear a helmet in the mines, and invariably you hear a "thwack!" and they go OMG IM SO GLAD IM WEARING THIS HELMET!!!

Take more backup lights than you think you might need. (and spare batteries for all of them)
- I've gone through 3 of 4 lights while still a few hundred feet underground. You really don't want your "spare" to be your ONLY spare. Mr. Murphy will rear his ugly head if you try to take this point for granted.

Always tell someone where you're going, and what time you should contact them by. If you don't call them, they call 911/SAR/whoever.
- Pick someone who will make the call, truly, if they don't hear from you.
- Make the time limit enough that you can very reasonably make the call, but also leaves a little time if you get just kinda hung up somewhere or forget what time it is for a little bit.
- This plan needs modification in non-cell-reception areas. But don't leave it out alltogether. If you've got a broken leg in a mine somewhere and you can't climb out, it's far better for someone to come looking for you after 24 hrs than to not come looking for you at all.

The buddy system will usually keep you from exploring anythign alone. It leaves someone to "go for help".
- Note: in extensive mines, a group of 3 or 4 is BEST. Any more tends to hinder forward progress in a timely fashion. With four people, if someone is injured, someone can stay with that person and the other TWO can go out for help, in case on of them is injured.

In hot areas carry one gallon per person, per day, at a minimum.
- You will likely end up using some of your water supply for things other than drinking. Water is cheap. Don't be a tightwad on the water supply.

Use common sense. If something is beyond your skill level, or looks really dangerous, pass it up till "later" when you are better trained or bring back someone who is.



That's the best advice I can think of to give any of you, much of it gained from experience.

Give a person a match and they'll be warm for a minute, but light them on fire and they'll be warm for the rest of their life. =)
Jonsered 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 48 on 12/5/2011 7:08 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Mobile
 
I'm not trying to be a prick here, but do you folks actually worry about this type of thing? I'm not trying to pass myself off as an expert on the subject of explosive or poison gasses, but damn. If it was truly that risky, I'd be dead. In slightly over 30 years of active mine exploring, I've had a damn sight more trouble with shithead companions than everything else put together.
[last edit 12/5/2011 7:09 AM by Jonsered - edited 1 times]

I have changed my personal exploring ethics code. From now on it will be: "Take only aimed shots, leave only hobo corpses." Copper scrappers, meth heads and homeless beware. The Jonsered cometh among you, bringing fear and dread.

Therrin 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 49 on 12/5/2011 4:52 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Jonsered
I'm not trying to be a prick here, but do you folks actually worry about this type of thing? I'm not trying to pass myself off as an expert on the subject of explosive or poison gasses, but damn. If it was truly that risky, I'd be dead. In slightly over 30 years of active mine exploring, I've had a damn sight more trouble with shithead companions than everything else put together.


I have to agree with you COMPLETELY on this point.

Except, I just met a nice guy who explained that his uncle was an avid mine explorer who died in a mine a couple years ago due to bad air. He'd been exploring mines for years, and figured he didn't need to take his air monitor along anymore, and it caught up with him.

So... while 90% of the time you might not have any problems, the other 10% will catch up with you sooner or later. He said his uncle had come across bad/stale air before, but had always had a gas detector with him on those runs.

Exploring abandoned mines isn't the *safest* thing you can do. Some would argue that there's a greater chance of being killed while on your way to the grocery store.
To me, if you are constantly trying to mitigate every possible risk, you'll last longer. But when you get complacent, then you're asking for trouble.

The bottom line is...who knows? The only way you can be 100% safe as far as breathable air goes, is to always monitor it. You can probably get by for years without having any trouble. But who knows?

At what point are you ready to risk your life by just guessing? It's soooo easy to get comfy with it.

If it's a well ventilated mine, then you're likely just fine. If it's deep, then you should probably take every precaution, considering the "heavy gasses settle low" principle.

Give a person a match and they'll be warm for a minute, but light them on fire and they'll be warm for the rest of their life. =)
shotgun mario 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 50 on 12/5/2011 7:18 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
We've ran into bad air several times while in mines, both with and without monitors, usually is in sections that are sealed off from air currents (oftentimes collapsed sections that we've opened) or through nasty squeezes far from the entrance.

A small o2 meter with a digital readout will help in that area, and a little knowledge of how your brain reacts at lower O2 levels will take care of that fear (you begin to act drunk, make bad decisions, etc. at lower o2 levels, so you need to set a limit that you'll go to and be sure to turn back at that level).
[last edit 12/5/2011 7:18 PM by shotgun mario - edited 1 times]

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fiftyone_eggs 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 51 on 12/5/2011 7:55 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I've been in three mines. Three.
I was paranoid as hell so I monitored my $50 flame safety lamp (which is used to detect gas NOT for illumination btw) religiously. On several occasions I saw the little flame dip and almost extinguish - at which time I would raise it/move it until I was in a place where the flame returned to normal. It was detecting black damp - basically CO2 that is very prevalent in coal mines in PA - which is where I was. There were pockets of it here and there in low areas or areas which had wet, decaying timbers (also very common in PA coal mines). Would I have died without my flame safety? I don't know but I would not have been able to tell when I was in the black damp and therefore might have lingered too long.

Listen: Gasses that are heavier than O2 (such as carbon dioxide) tend to gather in underground places. When these coal mines were active they would run huge surface-level ventilation fans to keep circulating the air inside and still many, many coal miners perished from exposure to black damp. Now that the mines are abandoned the gas just sits and accumulates.

So if I was able to encounter black damp in my few times down in the mines then I can say with confidence that it is an issue. I know the hard rock mines and western geology in general is different, but it would be stupid in my opinion to not spend money on a basic gas detector because it's stupid to gamble your life for lack of something you can have for $50.

robk700 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 52 on 12/8/2011 7:54 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
To the original poster whom I doubt reads this anymore: your county is fascinating. I'm currently reading up on Leadville in the magazine gold prospectors. Lots of gold, silver, lead and HISTORY in your neck of the woods.
[last edit 12/8/2011 11:00 PM by robk700 - edited 1 times]

Therrin 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 53 on 12/9/2011 5:33 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by robk700
To the original poster whom I doubt reads this anymore: your county is fascinating. I'm currently reading up on Leadville in the magazine gold prospectors. Lots of gold, silver, lead and HISTORY in your neck of the woods.


I'm pretty sure there was a tip for mine exploration in there, but I'm still looking for it.


**EDIT**

fiftyone_eggs: Touche sir, to your post. I've never been in a coal mine, so that's outside my experience. Good info to know though, thanks. =)
[last edit 12/9/2011 5:35 PM by Therrin - edited 1 times]

Give a person a match and they'll be warm for a minute, but light them on fire and they'll be warm for the rest of their life. =)
MrLedSled 






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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 54 on 1/6/2012 1:23 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
You might check out a show called Gold Fever on the outdoor channel. It might sound a bit odd but he goes into old mine shafts all the time and has some very good tips foe safety, equipment etc...

UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Tips for Abandoned Mines?? (Viewed 1980 times)
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