Coal mining is the process of extracting coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content and since the s, has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production.
Although both methods have their benefits and drawbacks, underground drilling may just be the cost worthy selection for you. Mining for coal depends on many variables. The geology and environmental aspects play a vital role, but depth and quality of the seam is what brings home the bacon.
More blasting and mining for less coal also raises human health concerns. Strip mining across the mountaintops of Appalachia is scarring as much as three times more land to get a ton of coal than just three decades ago, new research shows. The data and a series of new maps that track the spread of surface mining across the region suggest that even as the industry has declined, what continues likely has an oversized impact on people and the environment.
Mountaintop-removal mines in Appalachia are estimated to produce just 5 to 10 percent of total U. This highly destructive form of surface mining is disfiguring an entire region, the coalfield areas of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, because of one reason: profit. More than mountains in the southern Appalachians, which are among the oldest mountains on Earth, have already been sheared off. Vast areas of wildlife habitat, the most biologically diverse forest in North America, have been obliterated.
We've made some changes to EPA. Overburden and interburden are disposed of in adjacent valleys because the broken rock will not all fit back into the mining pit, and disposal alternatives are limited. The usual method of disposing of this excess soil and rock is to place it in engineered earthen and rock structures known as excess spoil disposal areas or colloquially known as head-of-hollow fills, hollow fills or valley fills.
Surface miningincluding strip miningopen-pit mining and mountaintop removal miningis a broad category of mining in which soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit the overburden are removed, in contrast to underground miningin which the overlying rock is left in place, and the mineral is removed through shafts or tunnels. Surface mining began in the mid-sixteenth century  [ dubious — discuss ] and is practiced throughout the world, although the majority of surface coal mining occurs in North America. In most forms of surface mining, heavy equipment, such as earthmoversfirst remove the overburden.
In the United States, decreasing demand for coal has contributed to lower coal production, which has fallen by more than one-third since peak production in As the U. Between andfewer underground mines produced coal in this region, compared with fewer surface mines.
Coal has completely transformed the landscape in Central Appalachia. From tostrip mining and mountaintop removal contributed to wiping out about 1. The study was authored by researchers from Duke University as well as SkyTruth and Appalachian Voices, environmental nonprofits that oppose surface mining. They conducted the study by looking at satellite images, identifying active mines by analyzing the normal amount of vegetation in the region and looking for areas where tree cover was low or nonexistent.
Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to better experience this site. When it comes to coal, perhaps the only thing more controversial than what to do about the heat-trapping carbon dioxide it generates is what to do about the social and environmental costs of getting it out of the ground.
Strip miningremoval of soil and rock overburden above a layer or seam particularly coalfollowed by the removal of the exposed mineral. The common strip-mining techniques are classified as area mining or contour mining on the basis of the deposit geometry and type. The cycle of operations for both techniques consists of vegetation clearing, soil removal, drilling and blasting of overburden if neededstripping, removal of the coal or other mineral commodity, and reclamation. Area mining is appropriate for the extraction of near-surface, relatively flat-lying, and thin deposits of coal, phosphate, and similar minerals.