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

3 Environmental aspects of coal mining

3.1 Environmental aspects of coal mining

Coal produced by both types of mining is used either to fuel electricity generation or for industrial and domestic heating, both of which result in atmospheric pollution, but here we are concerned with direct environmental impact on the land. Surface and underground mining operations cause significantly different environmental problems. Those that surround surface mining are common to any large quarrying operation: sterilization of the land and restoration of quarry sites; dust; and noise while operating. Mining waste is not a problem since it helps to fill the hole created. Underground mines produce less noise and dust at the surface, but cause land subsidence and generate long-lasting waste tips, even though some waste is used as backfill. As you will see, both operations can potentially cause water pollution.


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