Geophoto: Centralia coal fire

Smoke and cracks are signs of an uncontrollable subsurface coal fire, Centralia, PA, October 2006

Continuing the geology photo week started with yesterday’s dikes and pillows, today’s picture is from the borough of Centralia, PA, where an underground coal fire has been burning since 1962. The heat and volume change caused roads to crack and warp and left the ground unstable in some areas. As a result, the borough has been mostly deserted for almost twenty years and the 2010 census reported 10 residents. And that smoke isn’t just for show. The pavement was hot to the touch, and air escaping from cracks was too hot to hold your hand over for more than a second or two.

Go and take your own photo:


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