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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 52, No. 10, June 15, 2010. Pages 15 and 17.

Abstract: Coal Geophysics

Lawrence M. Gochioco
LM Gochioco & Associates Inc. GeoNano Technology Corporation Katy, Texas

Over the last three decades, the application of geophysical technologies to coal has been limited in scope when compared to the petroleum industry. This is largely due to several key factors, namely: limited or lack of capital by mining companies, lack of exposure, inexperienced geophysicists, and more complexity. Thus, the subject of coal geophysics remained largely unknown or mysterious to the geoscience profession and industry.

From 1985 to 2000, Gochioco built the country’s only multi-faceted coal geophysics program at the R&D Department of Consol Energy Inc. (former Conoco Coal Research Division). Consol Energy Inc. was the country’s second largest coal producer and the world’s largest operator of underground longwall mines. The coal geophysics program was developed to enhance the operations and safety of company mines. Various geophysical methods (seismic, electrical resistivity, electromagnetics, VLF, ground-probing radar, etc.) were developed and employed to address the complex upstream and downstream challenges of coal mining.

Case studies will be presented to highlight the benefits of properly executed geophysical projects that provided solutions to problems associated with exploration, engineering, and environmental issues. According to the EIA, global coal consumption is anticipated to increase by 50% by the year 2030 as coal is a relatively cheap and abundant fuel. The speaker will present his recent international exploration activities in countries that are rapidly developing their domestic coal reserves and thus becoming more competitive in the global fuels market through the use of advanced remote-sensing technologies.

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