Ohio geological survey seeks historic mine maps

As part of a continuing effort to expand its existing database of abandoned underground mines, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Geological Survey is seeking help from  citizens and industry in locating historic maps of now abandoned underground coal and other mineral resource mines.

Recently, the Division of Geological Survey received funding from the Ohio Mine Subsidence Insurance Underwriters Association (OMSIUA) to investigate and compile data sources, including mine maps, to make its inventory of mine lands as complete as possible. Data gathered from abandoned underground mine (AUM) maps will aid the OMSIUA in reviewing and assessing claims filed with its Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund.

“Ohio has a long, rich coal mining history, and it is important that we know as much as possible about past mining operations for the safe development of our state now and in the future” said Chief Larry Wickstrom, Division of Geological Survey. “We have exhausted state government resources in locating abandoned mine information, so now we’re asking for any information the public may have to assist us in this effort.”

Since commercial mining began in Ohio in 1800, thousands of mine openings have been created and developed, primarily in the counties within the state’s coal region. Some mining activities were small, family operations whose maps may have been passed down to family members or handed over to historical societies over the years. Such maps are of special interest to the Division of Geological Survey, which uses them to identify locations of abandoned mines. Abandoned underground mines can cause subsidence at the ground surface and potentially damage homes and buildings, roads, and other infrastructure. Locating additional mine maps also assists the division in its efforts to calculate remaining coal resources in the state.

Gathered data and maps also are used to update the Ohio Abandoned Mine Locator, an interactive map administered by ODNR’s divisions of Geological Survey and Mineral Resources Management. The AUM database and locator is an important tool for citizens and industry that aids land use planning and development, investigations of subsidence and other geohazards caused by AUMs and even rescue operations.

Information about the OMSIUA, including eligibility and coverage guidelines for the Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund, can be found on the OMSIUA Web site at www.ohiominesubsidence.com.

More information about the AUM mapping program and access to the Ohio Abandoned Mine Locator interactive map is available via the Division of Geological Survey’s Web site at www.OhioGeology.com.
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