Types of Mining

By: Matthew Bledsoe

Surface Mining

Surface Mining is when rock overlying mineral deposit is removed. This includes strip mining, open-pit mining and mountaintop removal mining. Surface mining is when rock overlying mineral deposit is removed.

Subsurface Mining

Subsurface Mining is when people dig tunnels into the Earths to reach minerals and different kinds of ores that are buried deep below the surface of the Earth. Some examples of Subsurface Mining are Slope Mining, Drift Mining, and Shaft Mining.

Similarities and Differences Between Surface Mining and Subsurface Mining


Both Surface Mining and Subsurface Mining are was of extracting natural materials like minerals and ores by digging into the Earths surface. They both also can lead to an increase in air and water pollution and disturb the Earths surface which can destroy vegetation.


Some differences between Surface Mining and Subsurface Mining is that Surface Mining takes place near the Earths surface and usually causes a greater amount of land disturbance. Subsurface Mining does not cause as much as a disturbance to the surface of the Earth because most of the tunnels start from small holes in the ground that are just big enough to fit a few men. Also Subsurface Minding can lead to very unstable ground above the tunnels while Surface Mining does not lead to as much unstable ground.

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What is Fracking?

Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing is when you drill a hole deep into the Earths surface. Then once the hole has been drilled and reaches shale rocks deep within the Earth pressurized water is shot down into the hole. This water will fill up all of the left over space between rocks and cause the rocks to expand and break. Once the rock breaks under enough pressure natural gas is released and then retrieved by the people who want the natural gas.

Effects on the Environment:

Fracking can be very dangerous for the environment. Large amounts of Fracking can lead to unstable ground under houses and you never know if someone is Fracking under your very own house. Also when the pressurized water breaks the rock some of the natural gas it is holding can go to other areas of the Earth. Maybe only half of the natural gas can be extracted and used while the other half may seep into fresh water reservations underground and contaminate our fresh water with harmful chemicals. This will make the water unusable for people and lower the amount of fresh water available.

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