Agricultural impacts of coal mine subsidence: Evaluation of three assay methods

R. G. Darmody, J. S. Steiner, I. J. Jansen, S. G. Carmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A microcomputer and spread sheet program were used to store and analyze data from a collection of maps and aerial photographs in a research project concerning the agricultural impacts of underground coal mine-induced subsidence. Topographic, soils, and mine maps along with pre-mine archival photos and 1:12,000 aerial photos flown over the 3 yr of the project were used. The research area included about 18,000 ha of predominantly agricultural land. The overall objective of the research project was to assess the damage to agricultural production caused by underground coal mine subsidence. The work reported here details the development and evaluation of the method used to meet the overall objective. A 64-point grid overlay adjusted to fit a township section on each of the images was used to mark individual sampling points. The categories of information recorded at each grid point were: mine name, township, section, grid point, land use, subsidence impact, mine type, mine panel orientation to slope, soil type, and soil slope. Each category had several classes to give a total of 196 possible classes for each of 3 yr of the study. These classes were visually assigned under each grid point on an image and then recorded on a 640 Kbyte microcomputer spread sheet. It was then possible to calculate each class area and class combination interactions over the time of the study. The validity of the approach was confirmed by two independent checks and by corn (Zea mays L.) yields determined at selected sites. The method is inexpensive and applicable to other similar land use or environmental studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-513
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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