Surface vs. Subsurface Mining

Gavin Kelley, 5/3/16, 3rd Period

Types of mining

The two types of mining are surface and subsurface mining. The differences between them are surface mining is mining focused on the surface of the Earth while subsurface mining involves mining much deeper into the Earth.

Surface Mining

Some examples of surface mining are: strip mining, open-pit mining, and mountaintop removal mining. Surface Mining can negatively impact the environment by scarring the landscape, destroying habitats, and polluting the air with dust and particulates.

Subsurface Mining

Some examples of subsurface mining are: slope, drife, and adits & shafts, which are horizontal and vertical tunnels, respectively. A major environmental issue involving subsurface mining is in the event of a collapse, the land above it may collapse as well.


Fracking is the procedure of drilling and infusing fluid into the ground at a massive pressure to fracture rocks that release natural gas. It has several negative effects on the environment including contamination of nearby groundwater and release of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere.