National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program

Historic Documents Inform Reclamation

A majority of the Coal collection consists of poorly cataloged, 50 to 100 year old documents available only in hardcopy format. The frequent handling required to determine what documents are available when an inquiry is made promotes their deterioration. The cataloging and digital capture of documents in this collection will not only help to preserve them, but also reduce the cost and time incurred by the state when staff are asked to provide what may be considered critical information in a timely manner to private consultants and various state and federal government agencies. The U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) routinely accesses the Coal collections for obtaining historic geologic and mining data and incorporating maps and reports into OSM records for site specific studies. The subsurface information contained in the Coal collection has been used routinely by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Land Reclamation Section to investigate the location, depth, and extent of mines to plan land reclamation and re-development efforts. The information contained in the Coal collection helped to identify vulnerable areas of the Timesville subdivision that overlies an abandoned underground coal mine, which was the cause of the surface collapse generating a sinkhole in 2013.

Access collections preserved by Tennessee Geological Survey HERE