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Geologists get a lot of power when they can find it. Numerous geologists work for natural gas and oil firms. Firms range from massive oil companies to small independents. Small independent oil companies may focus their energy (no pun intended) on a basin or small producing area. Industrial geologists work for mining companies looking for new ore deposits. Ore do they?

Though it seems soooo 1800s, industries still heavily rely on coal. Coal geologists work for the steel milling industry and the electricity generation industry. To be a savvy coal geologist, you must know how coal forms in order to determine where to find new deposits. When a coal deposit is found, it is up to the geologists to figure out what minerals are in the coal, how much coal is in the deposit, and what is the best method for extracting that coal.

The first step in finding out how much coal is in an area is to drill a borehole to figure out the thickness of the bed. The thickness is measured in acres and the process is called planimetry. Once the thickness and the borders of the coal deposit have been determined, a geologist can find out the gross reserve estimate. The equation looks like this: Coal thickness (in acres) 1,800/tons per square-foot=how much coal is in a deposit. Before you start digging up your yard, consult with a geologist (or become one) to find out if there is a hidden treasure under your house. If there is, it would explain that huge red X on your back patio.

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