Underground mining has severe environmental impacts
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©1979. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 60, Issue 3, page 28, 16 January 1979
How to Cite
1979), Underground mining has severe environmental impacts, Eos Trans. AGU, 60(3), 28–28, doi:10.1029/EO060i003p00028-03.(
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
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New geologic studies suggest that underground mining of coal may cause more environmental damage over long periods of time than surface strip mining followed by proper reclamation, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). While underground mining initially disturbs only a small portion of the surface above a mined area, long-term effects from ground subsidence can be more severe and widespread than the effects from modern strip mining and reclamation.
USGS geologists C. Richard Dunrud and Frank W. Osterwald emphasized that their investigations involved only coal beds with no more than 60 meters of overlying rock and soil, although other studies show that subsidence and consequent environmental damage can occur from mining coal deeper than 60 meters.