Utah State Rock - Coal
Coal, Utah's state rock, was enacted by the Utah State Legislature in 1991 (Utah Code). It originates as plant matter that accumulates up in wetlands and bogs. Coal begins to form when anaerobic bacteria break down plant material and convert it to peat through the removal of oxygen and hydrogen. The peat is then buried by sediment and more plant material, raising the temperature and pressure of the peat. As the peat compresses, water and methane gas are forced out, leaving an increasing proportion of carbon. With increasing heat and pressure the peat is converted successively into lignite, subbituminous coal, bituminous coal, and anthracite. Most of the coal mined in Utah is bituminous.
Coal is used during the coking process in steel production, and is burned in power plants to produce heat and electricity. Over one-half of the electricity used in Utah is generated by coal burning facilities. Coal is found in 17 of Utah's 29 counties, but coal mining is primarily concentrated in Emery and Carbon Counties. Coal production in Utah during 1994 is estimated at 24 million tons.
Coal is found in 17 of Utah's 29 counties but mainly concentrated in Emery and Carbon Counties. To the right, a D&RGW coal train winds its way through Carbon County.
- Coal & Coalbed Methane (Utah Geological Survey, Utah Department of Natural Resources)
- Coal Data, Utah Energy and Mineral Statistics (Utah Geological Survey, Utah Department of Natural Resources)
- Coal Mining & Production Publications (Utah Government Publications Online Digital Library)
- Old King Coal—A Long, Colorful Story (Utah History to Go)
- Public Records -- State of Utah, Coal Mine Locations (Map) (Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)
- Utah Clean Coal Program (University of Utah)
- Utah Coal (Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior)
- Utah Coal Profile (Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy)
- Utah Coal Program (Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)
- Utah's State Symbols - Coal (Utah Geological Survey)
Learn more about coal
- Coal (Energy Kids, U.S. Energy Information Administration)
- Coal (U.S. Department of Energy)
- Coal (U.S. Energy Information Administration)
- Coal Resources, over 100 Years of USGS Research (U.S. Geological Survey)