In early October 1999 Amy Leventer’s Environmental Geology class took a day trip to Centralia, Pennsylvania to get a firsthand look at coal mining and its environmental impacts.
The tour of the mine was fascinating. It allowed the students to see massive coal seams running through the tilted rock layers, and also gave them an appreciation for the working conditions and hazards that miners face. One special aspect of the Centralia region is that some of the coal seams have been burning underground since 1962. All efforts to put these fires out have failed. The toxic fumes produced from the fires have forced people to vacate their homes, leaving Centralia a modern-day ghost town.
Click the image below to launch a slideshow of images from the trip.