ISGS and IDNR produce updated maps showing former underground and surface coal mines

Chris Young
ISGS and IDNR produce updated maps showing former underground and surface coal mines
SPRINGFIELD, IL � The Illinois State Geological Survey has recently updated the map showing portions of Illinois where underground and surface coal mines once were located. The updated version is of particular interest to Springfield residents, because the map now shows areas between MacArthur Blvd and 5th St. and Ash and Laurel Streets as having been undermined. This update was a collaborative effort between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines and Minerals and the Illinois State Geological Survey.

The map can be found at: Enter your address in the search box for a more precise view.  Besides being a useful tool for discovering whether your home or business is undermined, Geologists can use the maps to help calculate mineral depletion and estimating remaining coal reserves available for future energy needs.

Underground coal mining has been taking place for over 160 years in Illinois. Current law requires maps of lands that have been undermined to be filed with the County Clerk. According to estimates, more than 5,500 mines have operated in Illinois since 1850. Currently Illinois has maps for less than half of these mines. Many of the older maps are rapidly deteriorating.

Staff with the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals (OMM) is scanning all unique mine maps for historic preservation. Maps can be used to safely plan future urban land use development and to site new mines. In addition, OMM is trying to find and obtain old mine maps in order to document the location of each mine having operated in Illinois. Many of the undocumented maps are believed to be stored in libraries, historical societies and personal files of old mine employees. Anyone with information about one of these maps is asked to call (618) 650-3197 or e-mail

Funding for these projects comes from the federal Office of Surface Mining, Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund.

Find a map of the new mined areas of Springfield at this link:
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