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Coal Mine Subsidence

Red ball iconCoal Mine Subsidence

Select publications for a list of references on this topic.


Coal mining in Iowa dates from 1840. Most of Iowa's coal mines were underground mines, possibly as many as 6,000 in 38 counties, potentially affecting 80,000 acres. Long-lasting detrimental effects of underground mining includes subsidence, the process by which the land surface sinks from collapse of the mine roof or failure of the support pillars. Subsidence has caused damage to buildings and property in both rural and urban areas in Iowa. A 1984 national publication estimated that 3,800 urban acres in Iowa are threatened by mine subsidence; a conservative cost estimate to alleviate subsidence problems, just in these areas, was $114 million.

Underground mines and related subsidence potential, What Cheer, Iowa (OFR 84-3), Abstract, Publication

Underground coal mines of Centerville, Iowa and vicinity (OFR 86-2), Abstract, Publication

Abandoned underground coal mines of Des Moines, Iowa and vicinity (TP-8), Abstract, Publication

Classification of coal mine subsidence in Iowa (1987, Association of Engineering Geologists Symposium Series, Number 4, pp. 83-94), Abstract

Abandoned underground coal mines: "A study in subsidence" (Guidebook, 1987, William Penn College Office of Continuing Education)