The National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS) was designed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to meet the increasing demands for rapid retrieval of information on coal location, quantity, quality, and accessibility. An interactive conversational query system devised by the USGS retrieves information from the data bank through a standard computer terminal. The system is being developed in two phases. Phase I, which currently is available on a limited basis, contains published areal resource and chemical data. The primary objective of this phase is to retrieve, calculate, and tabulate coal-resource data by area on a local, regional, or national scale. Factors available for retrieval include: state, county, quadrangle, township, coal field, coal bed, formation, geologic age, source and reliability of data, and coal-bed rank, thickness, overburden, and tonnage, or any combinations of variables. In addition, the chemical data items include individual values for proximate and ultimate analyses, BTU value, and several other physical and chemical tests. Information will be validated and deleted or updated as needed. Phase II is being developed to store, retrieve, and manipulate basic point source coal data (e.g., field observations, drill-hole logs), including geodetic location; bed thickness; depth of burial; moisture; ash; sulfur; major-, minor-, and trace-element content; heat value; and characteristics of overburden, roof rocks, and floor rocks. The computer system may be used to generate interactively structure-contour or isoline maps of the physical and chemical characteristics of a coal bed or to calculate coal resources. ?? 1976.