Energy resources: Coal
Energy resources: Coal

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Energy resources: Coal

2.3.1 Geological mapping of coalfields

Coalfields can be divided into two categories: exposed coalfields, where the coal-bearing strata outcrop at the surface, and concealed coalfields, where they are hidden beneath younger rocks. Exposed coalfields can be defined with considerable precision by surface geological investigations; indeed geologists recording field data still represent the cheapest exploration 'tool' available to the coal industry.

In populated regions, the locations of coal outcrops are well known and mapped. However, in remote areas new finds are still possible. In such areas data acquired from satellites or aircraft are assessed before geologists start exploring on the ground. The Global Positioning System (GPS), now increasingly used for navigation, uses signals from satellites to pinpoint locations precisely, so that geologists can more easily create accurate maps in the field. Field data are increasingly processed using spatial analysis software to create digital maps of coal outcrops and to model the likely extension of the coal beneath the surface.

S278_3

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus