Methane gas, commonly referred to as "natural gas," is being produced from coal beds in central Utah (fig. 1) at an increasing rate since the early 1990s. The methane was generated over millions of years during the formation of coal in the area. Coal originates as plant matter that has been deposited in a swamp-like environment and then decays as it is buried and compressed over geologic time. Giant fossilized footprints in the coal provide evidence that dinosaurs roamed and fed among the plentiful plants in these swamps (Hintze, 1979). Methane and carbon dioxide gas and water are produced in the coal as byproducts of coal formation (Sommer and Gloyn, 1993).
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Determination of methane concentrations in shallow ground water and soil gas near Price, Utah|
|Series title||Fact Sheet|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Salt Lake City, UT|
|Contributing office(s)||Utah Water Science Center, WY-MT Water Science Center|