Estimating secondary mining potential of inactive and abandoned Appalachian highwalls

G. T. Lineberry, K. F. Unrug, D. E. Hinkle

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

8 Scopus citations


Past surface-mining operations in Appalachia primarily followed mountain contours. It is estimated that about 29,000 km of highwalls are exposed throughout Appalachia. An evaluation procedure for determining the secondary mining potential (SMP) of these highwalls has been proposed. Sixteen parameters affecting the SMP were isolated. These are grouped in four major categories: geologic conditions, existing infrastructure, site conditions, and environmental conditions. The parameters were then ranked by their impact on SMP and assigned weighting factors. A simple mathematical procedure yields an SMP number (0 < SMP < 100), which may then be used to compare alternative sites and technologies. Determination of limits and ranges while grouping data was aided by field visits to over 40 exposed highwalls in Eastern Kentucky. The mathematical procedure estimates the relative potential (i.e., technological feasibility) for remining for three predominant secondary mining methods: augering, Hi-wall mining, and underground mining. Other secondary mining methods are briefly reviewed and compared.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Specialist publicationInternational Journal of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Environment
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Pat Angel, Office of Surface Mining; James Cobb, Kentucky Geological Survey; James Barker, Thunder Ridge Corporation; Roger Horseman, Kentucky Division of Abandoned Lands; Thomas Lipinski, TANDA, Inc., formerly of METEC, Inc.; and Charles Snavely, Sidney Coal Company, formerly of Martin County Coal Company, in helping formulate the problem state· ment, locating field sites, and determining parameter ranks and weightings. Special thanks are extended to METEC, Inc., who funded a second year of this study and who employed the medial author upon completion of the project. Work was supported by a USBM/Title III grant provided through the University of Kentucky Institute for Mining and Minerals Research for the FY

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating secondary mining potential of inactive and abandoned Appalachian highwalls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this