NCRDS Coal Stratigraphic Database

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) is a cooperative state agency with the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Energy Resources Program. This program includes the National Coal Resource Data System (NCRDS), which represents a joint coal project between the USGS and state geological surveys for states with coal-bearing stratigraphy. For more than 30 years the WSGS has collected coal stratigraphic data from the 10 coal fields in Wyoming. This national project involves the collection of stratigraphic coal resource information from coal exploration drill holes, coalbed methane wells, and measured sections at coal outcrops. Much of this data comes from historical coal mine information, geologic publications, and contributions from coal companies with active mining operations throughout Wyoming. This data includes coal location, thickness, elevation and depth, stratigraphic position, and interbedded lithologic data.

WSGS has developed the NCRDS Coal Stratigraphic Database to provide information on the location and stratigraphic intervals of a total of 24,554 public point-source coal data points with over 362,311 individual stratigraphic intercepts. Most of the data is located in the Powder River Basin from 14,000 coalbed methane wells. The WSGS is also developing an interactive mapping application for its coal database. The interactive map will feature the locations of the state’s 10 coal fields along with a total of 63 NCRDS data points of coal deposit greater than 150 feet thick. The map will also include a layer showing the locations of historical coal mines as well as ones with active mine permits. Users will also be able to downloadable geographic information system (GIS) data sets and to view the coal data in Google Earth with 3D visualizations of the coal fields and regions. The use and access of these data are critical for regional coal resource evaluations of Wyoming’s basins and can be used by members of the public, industry, and state and federal government regulators and officials.

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Map showing location of > 24,000
NCRDS stratigraphic data points.
Stratigraphic column showing formations and coal deposits in the PRB.