Underground Coal Mine Subsidence Impacts on Surface Water

Stump, Donald E.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 1
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
Subsidence from underground coal mining alters surface water discharge and availability. The magnitude and areal extent of these impacts are dependent on many factors, including the amount of subsidence, topography, geology, climate, surface water - ground water interactions, and fractures in the overburden. These alterations may have positive and/or negative impacts. One of the most significant surface water impacts occurred in July 1957 near West Pittston, Pennsylvania. Subsidence in the Knox Mine under the Coxton Yards of the Lehigh Valley Railroad allowed pan of the discharge in the Susquehanna River to flow into the mine and create a crater 200 feet in diameter and 300 feet deep. Fourteen railroad gondola cars fell into the hole which was eventually filled with rock, sand, and gravel. Other surface water impacts from subsidence may include the loss of water to the ground water system, the gaining of water from the ground water system, the creation of flooded subsidence troughs, the increasing of impoundment storage capacity, the relocation of water sources (springs), and the alteration of surface drainage patterns.
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