National Mine Map Repository (NMMR)
What is the National Mine Map Repository (NMMR)?
The National Mine Map Repository (NMMR) collects and maintains mine map information and images for the entire country, including data and maps of coal mines in the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania. As an extension of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), NMMR acquires maps through public outreach directed at state and federal environmental agencies as well as mining companies, engineering and consulting firms, surveying companies, universities, and private citizens.
Established by the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, the National Mine Map Repository (NMMR) collects and maintains mine map information and images for the entire country, including data and maps of coal mines in the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania. NMMR resides within the Pittsburgh suburb of Green Tree, Pennsylvania. Within this facility we store over 150,000 maps, both digitally and on microfilm (aperture cards), of closed and/or abandoned mines. The repository contains maps from the 1790s to the present day. NMMR serves as a point of reference for mine maps and other information for both surface and underground mines throughout the United States. The repository also serves as a location to retrieve mine maps in an emergency. The oldest maps in the archive originate from the Appalachian Region and the oldest map is from 1792!
Questions regarding NMMR should be sent to:
Paul Coyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-937-2833
Further Information and Documentation
- The National Mine Map Repository (NMMR), established by the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, is charged with maintaining an archive of all closed and abandoned mine maps from throughout the United States. Through its expert analysis of mine maps and related information, the NMMR assists both the private and public sectors in evaluation of related data for economic evaluation, risk assessment, industrial and commercial development, highway construction, and the preservation of public health, safety and welfare. The NMMR strives to increase public use and accessibility of its unique information by transforming its archive into digital georeferenced media.
Mine Maps and Services Provided
The NMMR provides services ranging from retrieving mine related data for economic analysis to determining the potential risk associated with underground mining. We are not permitted to assess. The data from the archives aids the public & private sectors to do such things, but we do not. We'll explain a map to novices (students, homeowners) including whether or not the area has been undermined. We determine which maps are suitable to be archived within the Repository - assessing the content & physical condition of the maps. We ascertain data from the map & enter it into a searchable database.
We are currently moving towards an accessible, spatial database by digitizing & georeferencing the nearly quarter-million digital images in the archive. As of 2/25/14, about 13% of the archive has been georeferenced. Through analysis of mine maps and related information, the repository assists private and public sectors in industrial and commercial development, highway construction, and the preservation of public health, safety, and welfare. In addition, we collect, reproduce, and maintain a national inventory of mine maps and supporting documentation for private and public interests.
The NMMR contains digital and microfilm maps of surface and underground coal, metal and non-metal mines throughout the United States. Some of the information that can be found in the repository includes:
- Mine and company names.
- Underground mine plans including mains, rooms, and pillars.
- Closure maps.
- Adjacent mines.
- Man-ways, shafts, mine surface openings, barrier pillars and ventilation facilities.
- Geological information including bed name, bed thickness, depth, drill-hole data, cross-sections, elevation contours, structures, and outcrops.
- Geographical data including abandoned railroad lines and stations, coal towns, surface facilities, roads, ponds, streams, and property survey points.
- Districts, townships, sections, ranges, counties and municipalities, latitudes and longitudes, elevation bench marks, and surface elevations gas, oil wells and drill-hole locations.
The NMMR offers scanned map images (ranging from 200 dpi to 400 dpi) on CDs/ DVDs or as paper prints. Newly donated mine maps will be scanned in color. Microfilm mine maps are available for viewing by appointment.The following is an example of some of our clients and the types of requests we receive:
- Private Citizens/Homeowners: Inquire about past mining activity underlying their residence/community to access potential property hazard information related to past coal mining. They may also request information pertaining to mine subsidence insurance. There is no charge to private citizens and homeowners for the services of the NMMR.
- Consultants: Identify specific project areas and request information on various mine seams, mine depth, extent of mine, closure dates, detailed maps of mine workings, and mine operators to use as a basic source of geological and engineering data.
- Government Agencies: Request for information on subsidence, acid mine drainage, highway and bridge construction, mine maps for public display at municipal buildings and maps for local town meetings, mine fires and mine rescue operations. The information may also be requested to conduct health and safety activities, such as mine rescue operations or to correct adverse environmental impacts resulting from landslides, subsidence, mine fires, etc. There is no charge to government agencies for the services of the NMMR.
- Developers & Contractors: Request mine maps to determine extent of mine workings and mine depth for pre-construction. They require information on coverage over mines to determine a need for support structures or to assist in making decisions relative to land use, foundation design, etc.
- Architects: Utilize mine map information in their design of structures. The information is necessary for decisions on the types of foundations and weight displacements.
- Realtors: Request information on abandoned mines within a given municipality. Their primary concern is to identify the distance of mines that underlie individual homes and whether information on mine subsidence insurance is necessary.
- Mining Companies: Utilize mine maps to prepare mine permit applications for new or existing mines. Consume considerable time researching map files and request mine map copies for further evaluations.
- The NMMR provides services ranging from retrieving mine related data for economic analysis to determining the potential risk associated with underground mining. We are not permitted to assess. The data from the archives aids the public & private sectors to do such things, but we do not. We'll explain a map to novices (students, homeowners) including whether or not the area has been undermined. We determine which maps are suitable to be archived within the Repository - assessing the content & physical condition of the maps. We ascertain data from the map & enter it into a searchable database.
As maps are obtained at the repository, they are assigned a unique six-digit identification number (document number). Data sheets are prepared for each map giving all available information including:
- map document number
- state; county
- mine name
- mine ID number (MSHA)
- company name
- mine type
- location coordinates of the geo-located point on the map
The NMMR acquires maps through a vigorous outreach program directed at the public and state and federal environmental agencies.
Other sources include:
- Mining companies
- Engineering and consulting firms
- Surveying companies
- Private citizens
- As maps are obtained at the repository, they are assigned a unique six-digit identification number (document number). Data sheets are prepared for each map giving all available information including:
State of the Art Equipment
The NMMR utilizes state of the art equipment to accomplish our mission of protecting and preserving mine maps for future generations.
Below are some of the equipment used within the repository:
- The NMMR utilizes state of the art equipment to accomplish our mission of protecting and preserving mine maps for future generations.
In 1969, an act of Congress established the need for a national mine map repository. The repository was to be funded and assigned to the Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Mines (BOM) in 1970. A repository was set up at a BOM office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that covered all states east of the Mississippi River with the exception of Louisiana and Minnesota. Those two states, together with most states west of the Mississippi River, were covered by a repository at the BOM Intermountain Field Operation Center in Denver, Colorado. Northwest states were covered by the BOM office in Spokane, WA.
In 1982, the responsibility for the repository and the repository staff was formally transferred to DOI's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). Later, when BOM was dissolved in 1996, all of the maps from the BOM offices were consolidated into two separate OSMRE repositories, one each in the cities of Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the Wilkes-Barre repository covering only the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2011, the Wilkes-Barre Mine Map Repository closed. The entire collection of the National Mine Map Repository now resides in the Green Tree (Pittsburgh), PA office.
From the beginning, the mission of the repository has been to obtain authoritative maps on completed mining operations and preserve them on microfilm. High priority is given to maps of mines in areas where the potential for adverse impact to the environment was most significant. The NMMR, in addition to being an archival entity concerned with the preservation of mine maps, is a storehouse of information on mines. The NMMR index system is a database of mining related information. It is a valuable resource of for identifying mineral and energy reserves and for addressing mining related environmental issues. The information is made available to Federal and state geological surveys, state mining bureaus, mining companies, oil and gas companies, conservationists, research and planning organizations, water pollution boards, city and industrial planners, highway engineers, building contractors and real estate developers and private citizens.
Today the NMMR is a modern high-tech facility with leading edge map scanning and archiving capability, and a state-of-the-art electronic map indexing system. The primary archival method remains microfilm, although more and more of the repository's holdings are also available in digital format held on over 500 terabytes of storage capacity.
- Below is a listing of additional mine map repositories:
- Anthracite Coal Region of Pennsylvania
- Colorado Geological Survey
- Illinois Coal Mines Quadrangle Maps and Directories
- Indiana Geological Survey
- Kentucky Geological Survey
- Kentucky Mine Mapping Information System
- Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology
- New Mexico Bureau of geology and Mineral Resources
- Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA)
- USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
- USGS Historical Maps
- Virginia Mine Mapping Initiative
- Virtual Museum of Coal Mining IN Western Pennsylvania
- West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES)
- Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
National Mine Map Repository
3 Parkway Center
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday by appointment)
Paul Coyle, Geologist and Mine Map Team Leader
email@example.com or (412) 937-2833
Looking for a map? Search the NMMR Database System. The index system allows visitors to search the database listing of mine maps available through the NMMR.
Mine maps within the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) National Mine Map Repository (NMMR) are not guaranteed to be accurate, correct, or complete.
All maps in the NMMR have been donated to the OSMRE. The information contained therein cannot be verified and so cannot be guaranteed.
OSMRE’s inability to guarantee includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- The accuracy of the mine maps within the NMMR.
- The reliability of findings based upon data from the maps.
- The reliability of findings from digital mapping programs.
- The completeness of the maps, as they may not reflect prior or more recent mining.
- The accuracy of any georeferenced mine maps found in the NMMR.