Geologic maps identify coal resources and past mining in Pennsylvania

Defining the Problem

Despite Pennsylvania’s long history as a major coal producer, information on the coal geology (Fig. 1), remaining resources, and extent of past mining is not available for many areas of the state. Such information is critical for present and future coal exploration and development, environmental protection, mine-hazard identification and mitigation, and land-use planning.

Coal Basics

Why does coal matter?

The United States has more estimated recoverable coal reserves than any other nation except China and is a net exporter of coal. In 2017, coal provided 30% of the electricity consumed across the country, and 93% of coal consumed in the United States was used to generate electricity.[3]


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