EAST TENNESSEE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
2006 Autumn Field Trip

Tennessee Coal Mining and Wind Power

Anderson County, Tennessee
Saturday, November 18, 2006

 

Trip Leaders

Richard Mann
U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining

Barry Thacker
Geo/Environmental Associates and
Coal Creek Watershed Foundation

Rick Carson
Tennessee Valley Authority

ETGS members at Fort Anderson on Militia Hill.
Abuse of convict laborers at the nearby Knoxville Iron
Company Mine resulted in the Coal Creek War.

See
www.coalcreekaml.com/ConvictMiners.htm for more information.

 


ETGS members traveled from Oak Ridge to the coal-mining region in the northern part of Anderson County. We visited the Tennessee Valley Authority's Buffalo Mountain Wind Park and the Premium Coal Company's Mine No. 18 on Windrock Mountain. We rounded out the trip in the historical Coal Creek area. This trip complimented Barry Thacker's October presentation and Rick Mann's November presentation.

The following photos were made by Rick Mann, Dr. Larry McKay, and Brad Stephenson.

At our first stop (above, left), we visited an oil well. A nearby well is thought to produce from the Mississippian-age Monteagle limestone at a depth of approximately 2,200 feet (Mike Burton, Tennessee Division of Geology, personal communication). Rick Mann, ETGS member from the Office of Surface Mining (above, right), led the portions of the trip related to oil/gas production and coal mining/reclamation.

The four photos above are from our second stop at the Buffalo Mountain Wind Park, managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Rick Carson (above, right) manages the wind park and led this portion of the trip. The wind park occupies reclaimed coal mining land.

The photos below show our visit to Premium Coal Company's Mine No. 18 at Peachtree Gap on Windrock Mountain. This active mine is within sight of the wind park. However, the Ligias Fork of the New River lies in a deep valley between them, requiring travel along several miles of rough road.


Above, ETGS members study the stratigraphy and paleontology of the Pennsylvanian-age sandstones, shales, and coal seams at Peachtree Gap.

The photos below show several fossils observed in the field, including Calamites, Lepidodendron, and Sigillaria, among others.


The final four photos (below) are from our final two stops in the Coal Creek area. Barry Thacker (below, right) led this portion of the trip, which addressed the historical and social aspects of coal mining in the region.


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November 24, 2006