Coal Availability Reports
The Pennsylvania Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, has completed a series of Coal Availability Studies (CAS) in the Main Bituminous coal field of western Pennsylvania (see index map below). The purpose of the studies was to estimate the coal resources available for extraction in several mature mining districts. This was accomplished by examining and applying various land use and technological restrictions to mining for several local areas in which detailed data were available. Each study area was selected to represent the significant variations in geology, topography, mining restrictions, and mining practices that characterize its particular setting or locality. It is anticipated that the results of these investigations will be applied to similar areas elsewhere in the bituminous coal fields to refine existing coal-resource estimates.
Estimating available coal resources is difficult because of the variability in coal thickness and geographic distribution, and the variety of restrictions imposed upon mining. Within each area investigated, data on coal thickness were obtained from drill holes, outcrops, and mine exposures, which, combined with information from maps showing the geographic extent of each commercial coal, permitted calculation of the original volumes (or tonnages) of coal prior to mining. Subtraction of coal in mined-out and restricted areas (e.g., restrictions such as coal too thin to mine, and coal under cemeteries, state parks, and other cultural features) from original estimates provided a more accurate determination of the remaining coal available for extraction.
The reports for the five completed quadrangles—Clymer, Hackett, Saxonburg, Strattanville, and Waynesburg—are available online as PDF (Portable Document Format) files. To access these files, click on the links in the preceding sentence or on the quadrangle areas in the index map below.