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Digital Coal Atlas


The U.S. Geological Survey's National Coal Assessment Program resulted in the creation of digital GIS coverages of information relating coal resources and coal mining in Kentucky. These data have been produced as interactive CD-ROM products that allow users to view the maps in a free GIS viewer (ESRI's ArcExplorer), or use them in GIS software. Themes include coal extent, coal thickness, coal structure, bench architecture, mined-out areas, and useful basemap layers. A CD-ROM that contains all of the currently assessed coal beds is available for each coal field for $30.


Coal Atlas - Eastern Kentucky (order DPS_01_12)

Coal Atlas - Western Kentucky (order DPS_02_12)

To place an order, contact the Public Information Center at 859.257.3896 or call toll free at 1.877.778.7827.

Who can use these data?

Persons involved in State energy policy matters can use these data to obtain a regional overview of the status of Kentucky's coal resources. The distribution and thickness of remaining resources can be readily compared to the state's existing energy infrastructure (railroads, coal-haul highways, etc.) in order to determine areas of the Commonwealth that will likely contribute significantly to future coal production.

Many coal companies are actively seeking new reserves to replace those that they are currently mining. These maps provide a regional perspective of where historical mining has taken place for specific coal beds and the nature of the remaining coal in adjoining areas. Industrial representatives will be particularly interested in the site-specific measurements of coal beds in areas of interest.

Transportation planners
Persons involved in the planning and design of new roadways in Kentucky must consider the impact of encountering mine works in the process of construction and the costs of mineral acquisition for right-of-way. These maps will provide a rapid method of obtaining a preliminary estimate of areas where these conditions will be encountered and permit early route adjustments to avoid costly segments.

Environmental and Land-use planners:
The coal atlas maps will give persons concerned with the land-use impacts of underground mining general information about the extent and depth of coal mines in specific areas. The data can also be used to identify candidate areas for developing water resources from abandoned underground mine works in regions where water is difficult to locate.

Related Products

U.S. Geological Survey's published reports for the Illinois and Appalachian basins that include Kentucky's coal fields. These assessments include the Kentucky data and are also available as CD-ROM products.

2000 Resource Assessment of Selected Coal Beds and Zones in the Northern and Central Appalachian Basin Coal Regions. USGS Professional Paper 1625-C. Order PP_1625C_USGS.

Resource Assessment of the Springfield, Herrin, Danville, and Baker Coals in the Illinois Basin. USGS Professional Paper 1625-D. Order PP_1625D_USGS.