(Lexington, Ky.) The
Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) at the University
of Kentucky today released the Kentucky digital coal
atlas consisting of 12 maps and charts showing original
and remaining coal resources in eastern and western
Kentucky for six historically important coals.
Nine of the new maps and charts pertain to resources
in eastern Kentucky and three show resources in western
Kentucky. Additional maps for western Kentucky will
be published in the future. The atlas is unique because
it was produced using state-of-the-art computer technology
for creating digital geologic maps and very detailed
information about coal resources in Kentucky. The
atlas will be available as computer files on a CD-ROM
or as traditional paper maps.
detailed assessment of coal resources required for
the completion of the new maps and charts has been
under way since 1996 with partial funding from the
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as part of a national
program to assess remaining coal resources available
work is a significant accomplishment for Kentucky
and the USGS,” said Bonnie McGregor, USGS Eastern
Regional Director.” “The digital maps provide valuable
information that is accurate, unbiased, and current
to decision makers in government and industry,” said
McGregor. This project exemplifies the positive outcome
that can arise from federal-state cooperation.
“We are proud that Kentucky is one of the first states
to complete such a comprehensive digital coal atlas,”
said State Geologist James Cobb. KGS has been a national
leader in the assessment of coal resources and the
creation of digital geologic maps.
Cobb and Gerald Weisenfluh, the KGS geologist who coordinated
the project, said that information and analysis in
the digital coal atlas indicate that geographic shifts
in coal production may occur in the foreseeable future.
The 12 maps and charts show the degree of depletion
of resources, the extent of the remaining coal available
for future mining, and thickness and elevation of
the coal, which will be useful to the coal industry
as it produces coal from the remaining Kentucky reserves.
coal atlas will be valuable to the coal industry and
for all residents and businesses in Kentucky who rely
on future reserves of coal for the generation of electricity
and continued economic development stimulated by coal
mining,” Cobb said. “Kentucky has the third lowest
electricity rates in the nation and virtually all
of Kentucky’s electricity is produced from coal,”
digital coal atlas will be essential for energy policy
makers; coal companies active in exploration; and
environmental, land-use, and transportation planners,”
explained that the atlas will be useful to energy
policy makers by providing a regional overview of
the status and location of Kentucky’s coal resources
to determine areas of future coal development. The
maps will permit transportation planners to make preliminary
assessments of the impact of abandoned mines and the
cost of acquiring minerals in rights-of-way on construction
projects. Information on the extent and depth of
coal mines in specific areas also will be valuable
to study the impacts of underground mining on land
Other charts in the coal atlas have information about
mining characteristics and coal quality, which will
be useful for mine safety and environmental planning.
The paper copies are available for a nominal charge
of $10 each. Anyone interested in the digital coal-bed
data used to compile the maps can purchase data sets
on a single CD-ROM for $30.
The coal atlas can be viewed at the KGS web site -- http://www.uky.edu/KGS/.