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Coal Resources in New Mexico

Backscattered electron image of an REE-rich overgrowth (clearly visible here as a bright white band) on a zoned magmatic zircon. Field of view is 150 micrometers (0.15 mm).

For 35 years the bureau has worked cooperatively with the U.S. Geological Survey to contribute to the National Coal Resource Data System (NCRDS). The goal has been to get stratigraphic and coal quality data for all of the coal-bearing regions of New Mexico into a national database. Much of this information has been released through bureau publications, including our coal resource maps. Between 1988 and 2005, detailed coal availability studies were conducted in the San Juan Basin, the Raton Basin, and in the Standing Rock area northwest of Grants. Recently our work has expanded to include geodatabases for coal outcrops in New Mexico, which will allow us to produce digital coal outcrop maps for the state, including attributes regarding thickness and coal quality. Our current project for the NCRDS is focused on verifying and entering existing data from our Coal Data Library into this database.

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