Types of Mining and Fracking

Jina Song

Surface and Subsurface mining

The two types of mining are surface mining and subsurface mining. An ore bed can be mined if it is relatively close to the Earth's surface. It is cheaper and safer than subsurface mining. More than 60% of US coal are mined by this method.

Subsurface mining is used when mineral ores are located thousands of feet under the Earth's surface. It is more expensive and more difficult to extract ores through this method. Before mining, many safety procedures must be completed, such as creating tunnels and ventilation shafts. Explosives and drilling is used for this method. Subsurface mining are less environmentally hazardous than surface mining. However, this method may create land collapse, and hazardous materials may dissolve into underground water.

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The process of drilling down into the Earth and mixing fluid at a high pressure in order to obtain natural gas from rocks is called fracking.

First, water is mixed with sand and chemicals to create fracturing fluid. It is then pressure injected underground through a pipe. The high pressure leads to the rocks cracking and releasing natural gas.

Unfortunately, fracking creates pollution and contamination as toxic materials mix with groundwater.