The release of methane gas from coal beds creates the potential for it to move into near-surface environments through natural and human-made pathways. To help ensure the safety of communities and determine the potential effects of development of coal-bed resources, methane gas concentrations in soils and ground water in Carbon and Emery Counties, Utah, were monitored from 1995 to 2003. A total of 420 samples were collected, which contained an average methane concentration of 2,740 parts per million by volume (ppmv) and a median concentration of less than 10 ppmv. On the basis of spatial and temporal methane concentration data collected during the monitoring period, there does not appear to be an obvious, widespread, or consistent migration of methane gas to the near-surface environment.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Monitoring for methane gas in Carbon and Emery Counties, Utah, 1995-2003
U.S. Geological Survey
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Water Science Center, Illinois Water Science Center