Since 1995, U.S. coal miners have often inadvertently broken into abandoned underground coal mines in the Appalachian coal basin. Unavailable, inaccurate, or incomplete mine maps were typically blamed. However, two recent troubling occurrences have caused the U.S. Congress to authorize the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Department of Labor, to refocus efforts to develop and employ remote-sensing technologies to detect and map abandoned and flooded mine works. These two events were (1) the breakthrough of a tailings impoundment through old mine works in Inez, Kentucky, releasing millions of gallons of mine wastewater and slurry on 11 October 2000, and...

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