The National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS) of the U.S. Geological Survey is an interactive computerized storage, retrieval, and display system to assess the quantity and quality of the nation's coal resources. It has been developed to provide geological coal-resource data currently available, to update that data, and to expand to new types of data.

To this end the U.S. Geological Survey has initiated a 5- to 10-yr program to acquire point-source data for all coal-bearing regions through its own programs and cooperative projects with state agencies. Presently, files containing summary areal coal-tonnage estimates and proximate/ultimate chemical analyses, as well as point-located major-, minor-, and trace-element analyses, and stratigraphic data are available. New resource assessments can be made with point-source data, including drill-hole records, field measurements, and so on. Data may be displayed in literal form or graphically — for example, tables, isoline maps, and cross sections. The system software can calculate coal-resource estimates, generate overburden or interburden distribution, and delineate areas of coal with selected parameters (for example, < .3% sulfur, > 28 in.) within specified boundaries (for example, quadrangle, county).

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