This report on Appalachian basin coal production consists of four maps and associated graphs and tables, with links to the basic data that were used to construct the maps. Plate 1 shows the time (year) of maximum coal production, by county. For illustration purposes, the years of maximum production are grouped into decadal units. Plate 2 shows the amount of coal produced (tons) during the year of maximum coal production for each county. Plate 3 illustrates the cumulative coal production (tons) for each county since about the beginning of the 20th century. Plate 4 shows 1996 annual production by county. During the current (third) cycle of coal production in the Appalachian basin, only seven major coal-producing counties (those with more than 500 million tons cumulative production), including Greene County, Pa.; Boone, Kanawha, Logan, Mingo, and Monongalia Counties, W.Va.; and Pike County, Ky., exhibit a general increase in coal production. Other major coal-producing counties have either declined to a small percentage of their maximum production or are annually maintaining a moderate level of production. In general, the areas with current high coal production have large blocks of coal that are suitable for mining underground with highly efficient longwall methods, or are occupied by very large scale, relatively low cost surface mining operations. The estimated cumulative production for combined bituminous and anthracite coal is about 100 billion tons or less for the Appalachian basin. In general, it is anticipated that the remaining resources will be progressively of lower quality, will cost more to mine, and will become economical only as new technologies for extraction, beneficiation, and consumption are developed, and then only if prices for coal increase.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Bituminous coal production in the Appalachian Basin; past, present, and future