Kentucky Geological Survey Report of Investigations


The Kentucky Geological Survey has developed a method using lineament analysis in conjunction with inclinced exploration boreholes to identify subsurface fractures in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field. Wells are then drilled to intersect these fractures, with the hope that the wells will be high yielding (greater than 30 gal/min). Lineaments were selected from Landsat TM imagery, side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) imagery, and two enhanced Landsat TM images for over 6,400 square miles of eastern Kentucky. Lineaments were replotted on 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle maps, and field reconnaissance identified locations where lineaments correlated with straight-line topographic features and fracture zones. Subsquent application of an inclined drilling technique at six sites has resulted in four production wells with yields ranging from 47 to 72 gal/min. All production wells intersected fractured rock.

According to data from the Kentucky Groundwater Data Repository through October 2002, the yields of these four production wells are greater than the yields of 95 percent of the wells drilled in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field.

This study suggests that to minimize the chances of encountering salty groundwater, the best sites for high-yield wells are in first- or second-order stream valleys with fracture zones.

Publication Date



Series XII

Report Number

Report of Investigations 10

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Notes/Citation Information

© 2004 University of Kentucky