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Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5227

Methane Gas Concentration in Soils and Ground Water, Carbon and Emery Counties, Utah, 1995-2003

By B.J. Stolp, A.L. Burr, and K.K. Johnson


The release of methane gas from coal beds creates the potential for it to move into near-surface environments through natural and human-made pathways. To help ensure the safety of communities and determine the potential effects of development of coal-bed resources, methane gas concentrations in soils and ground water in Carbon and Emery Counties, Utah, were monitored from 1995 to 2003. A total of 420 samples were collected, which contained an average methane concentration of 2,740 parts per million by volume (ppmv) and a median concentration of less than 10 ppmv. On the basis of spatial and temporal methane concentration data collected during the monitoring period, there does not appear to be an obvious, widespread, or consistent migration of methane gas to the near-surface environment.

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SIR2006_5227.pdf (0.8 mb)

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Purpose and Scope

Physical Setting

Well-Field History and Development

Monitoring Program

Methane Gas Concentrations


References Cited


Sample Collection

Analysis Procedures for the OVA 128 Century Organic Vapor Analyzer

Analysis Procedures for the HNU 311 Portable Gas Chromatograph

Send questions or comments about this report to the author, Bert Stolp, at, 801.908.5014.

For more information about USGS activities in Utah, visit the USGS Utah District home page.

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