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ABSTRACT: Customized, Interactive Assessments of Coal Resources Using a Geographic Information System

TREWORGY, COLIN G., Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, IL

Geographic information system (GIS) software and computer workstations are being used to conduct customized, interactive assessments of coal resources in Illinois. The computer database contains the same information that is typically found on resource maps (e.g. thickness and depth of coals, location of mines, faults, roads, and railroads). Unlike a paper map which merely displays information in a fixed, pre-determined format, the GIS provides the capability to select, evaluate, re-classify, display, and tabulate this information for customized assessments. By using a computer workstation and a specially developed assessment program that runs the GIS software, evaluations can be conducted interactively by users with minimal instruction. Features may be selected by specific values, geo raphic proximity to other features, or pointing. For example, coal deposits can be selected that have specified minimum and maximum values for thickness and depth and that are within a certain distance of a power plant or railroad.

Deposits may also be selected using a computer mouse by pointing at or circling them. Selected deposits may be tagged or classified so that they may be referred to again later in the session. All or selected deposits can be displayed with color coding to indicate thickness, depth, sulfur content, or a user-given classification and the tonnage of coal in each of these categories may be tabulated. The assessment program and database were developed and used to assess the coal resources in the Paducah 1 degrees X 2 degrees Quadrangle. The database eventually will be expanded to include all coal resources in Illinois.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91013©1992 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Champaign, Illinois, September 20-22, 1992 (2009)