Coal and coalbed-methane resources in the Appalachian and Black Warrior basins: maps showing the distribution of coal fields, coal beds, and coalbed-methane fields

Professional Paper 1708-D.1
By: , and 
Edited by: Leslie F. Ruppert and Robert T. Ryder



The maps contained in this chapter show the locations of coal fields, coal beds assessed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2000, and coalbed-methane fields in the central and southern Appalachian basin study areas, which include the coal-producing parts of the Black Warrior basin. The maps were compiled and modified from a variety of sources such as Tully (1996), Northern and Central Appalachian Basin Coal Regions Assessment Team (2001), Hatch and others (2003), Milici (2004), and unpublished data from the State geological surveys of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Alabama. The terms “coalbed methane” and “coal-bed gas” are used interchangeably in this report. All of the figures are located at the end of this report.

The Appalachian basin historically has been subdivided into three coal regions on the basis of regional geologic structure and stratigraphy: the northern region in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, western Maryland, and northern West Virginia; the central region in west-central and southwestern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, northern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia; and the southern region in southern Tennessee, northern Alabama, and northwestern Georgia. The Appalachian basin is one of the most important coal-producing regions in the Nation and the world, and coal has been mined there throughout the last three centuries. The coal is primarily used within the Eastern United States for electrical power generation, but some of it is suitable for metallurgical uses. In 2008, the Appalachian basin produced about 320 million short tons of coal from 1,278 underground and surface coal mines (Energy Information Agency, 2009a).

Coalbed-methane production in the Appalachian basin coal regions is an increasingly important resource. In 2008, 247 billion cubic feet (bcf) of coalbed methane was produced in the basin from Alabama (107 bcf), Virginia (101 bcf), West Virginia (28 bcf), and Pennsylvania (11 bcf) (Energy Information Agency, 2009b). Coalbed-methane exploration is ongoing in all of the States in the Appalachian basin coal regions, and production is expected to increase.

The study area for most reports in this volume is the Appalachian basin. The term “Appalachian basin study area” (shortened from “Appalachian basin geologic framework study area”) includes all of the Appalachian Basin Province (Province 67) and part of the neighboring Black Warrior Basin Province (Province 65) of Dolton and others (1995). The boundaries for these two provinces and the study area are shown on figure 1.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Coal and coalbed-methane resources in the Appalachian and Black Warrior basins: maps showing the distribution of coal fields, coal beds, and coalbed-methane fields
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1708
Chapter D.1
DOI 10.3133/pp1708D.1
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description iv, 21 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Coal and petroleum resources in the Appalachian basin: distribution, geologic framework, and geochemical character
Country United States
Other Geospatial Appalachian basin
Projection Albers Equal-Area Conic projection
Scale 7250000
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details