KWRRI Research Reports


This atlas contains maps of wetlands and surface mining activity in the Western Kentucky Coal Field, and focuses on a 3960 km2 (1530 mi2) region where approximately 90 percent of surface mining in the Coal field occures. Some present and potential competition exists between surface coal mining and wetland protection. A wetland classification, based on the recent FWS classification, includes six types of palustrine systems and one each of riverine and laucstrine systems. Wetlands and surface mines are located on twenty-seven 7.5 minute USGS quadrangles that define the study region. A total of 460 km2 (177 mi2) of wetlands are identified. Approximately 84 percent are broad-leaved deciduous forested wetlands, mostly as periodically-flooded riparian hardwood forests along broad alluvial bottom-lands. Also, several significant persistent emergent wetlands, shrub-scrub wetlands, and needle-leaved deciduous forested wetlands (bald cypress swamps) are identified in the study region. Summaries of geology and coal mining, hydrology, water quality, wetland vegetation and unique fish and wildlife species are presented for each quadrangle. Effects of existing and potential future surface mining of coal on wetland structure, function, and value are discussed. Species lists for vegetation and fish and wildlife and recent water quality data for the study region are given in the Appendices.

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Funding Information

The work upon which this report is based was supported in part by funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., as authorized by the Water Research and Development Act of 1978. Public Law 95-467.