Mine Map Archives

Dividing Line

Since its inception in 1897, geologists of the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey have produced maps and publications about the coal beds of the state. Beginning in the 1970's, Survey geologists have been compiling maps of underground mined areas by coal bed. To that end, the Survey has worked closely with the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training and the U.S. Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining (OSM) Mine Map Repository to collect and archive maps of underground mines in West Virginia. The OSM Mine Map Repository photographs the maps and stores each 35mm image mounted in a computer card, called an aperture card. To date, about 47,000 such images exist for West Virginia. Both the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training and the Survey maintain copies of these aperture cards and make them available to the public.

More recently, Survey geologists have been re-mapping the coal resources of the state using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology in an effort called the Coal Bed Mapping Project. Like earlier efforts, geologists are compiling the outlines of all underground mines in each bed. While maps of West Virginia mines in the OSM Mine Map Repository are fairly complete for mining since 1970, it is evident that maps of many earlier mines are missing. In light of recent events in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and Martin County, Kentucky, it is imperative that we thoroughly document the locations of old mine workings in West Virginia.

If you, or someone you know, have old mine maps, especially those with final dates before 1970, please help us add them to the archives by using the contact information below.

Scanned images (TIF format) of West Virginia mine maps are now available online. Click here for more information.

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Page last revised: August 22, 2013

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            West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey
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