Honors Program

Midway Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Brajesh Kumar Dubey

Thesis Professor Department

Environmental Health

Thesis Reader(s)

Cathy Landy, Michael McKamey


Surface coal mining has become the ideal method for extracting coal from the Appalachia Mountains. However, surface coal mining generates large amounts of waste which may decrease the water quality in central Appalachia. This research is an attempt to determine whether surface coal mining negatively impacts water quality. This research consists of a literature review in addition to an analysis of data obtained through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. This data was analyzed at three separate locations along the Clinch River, VA to determine trends and cycles in pH, temperature, total hardness, and chloride, sulfate and metal concentrations. After analysis of data, it was concluded surface mining did not negatively impact water quality at these three locations. In addition, more research must be done to make a more accurate, concise conclusion between water quality and surface mining.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.