Monday, June 3, 2013

Mines in Pa.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection now has an online mine map, showing where underground mines are located.

Over a period of more than 10 years, DEP has identified and scanned in excess of 15,000 hard copy mine maps. To date, approximately half of those scanned maps have been geographically located on the earth’s surface using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, a process known as “georeferencing”.

Maps are continuously being scanned into high-resolution images, georeferenced and added to the atlas; more than 40,000 have yet to be scanned.

 The atlas features enhanced search tools and views and allows users to download and print maps. Another important feature of the Pennsylvania Mine Map Atlas is its ability to measure the distance from a mine to a specific structure. This function will help identify homes and other structures at risk for mine subsidence -- ground movement caused by the collapse of old, abandoned mines. If the atlas shows that a home sits on or in close proximity to an undermined area, Mine Subsidence Insurance (MSI) is recommended. MSI protects property owners from damage caused by mine subsidence, which is typically excluded from home owners’ insurance policies.

 The map atlas can be found at www.paminemaps.psu.edu.

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