Creating an integrated coal geology and coal mining Geographic Information System in West Virginia.
Fedorko, Nick and Britton, James Q.
West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey
In 1995, the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) was directed to create a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based inventory of the coal resources in West Virginia. Since then geologists have been creating a series of resource maps for each bed including structural contour and outcrop lines; net coal, total bed height, and percent partings isopach maps; depth-of-overburden; mined areas (by mining method); bed discontinuities; thickness and elevation control points; coal quality variation; and others. The effort is supported by numerous databases including ones dedicated to stratigraphic data, coal quality data, and underground mine map documents. An integrated system continues to evolve centered around the GIS software platform connected to robust Relational Database Management software through Spatial Database Engine.
Up-to-date mapping and information about coal geology and coal mining in the state in a flexible GIS format is in demand for issues such as future economic impact of coal, mine safety, development of all kinds, assessment of environmental impact of mining, assessment and remediation of abandoned mine land problems, fair and equitable taxation, and many others. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology provides tools not only for creation and efficient storage of coal geology and resource maps, but also provides means to readily manipulate the information for specialized and focused analyses.