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Methane and carbon dioxide emissions are associated with coal, carbonaceous shales, and peat as well as organic rich muds and silts in buried ponds, lakes or drainage channels.
Most methane and carbon dioxide emissions at the surface appear to be derived from abandoned shallow coal mines. Records also show some emissions coming from peat and other natural deposits of organic materials, such as organic material in buried ponds or river channels, the exact location of which is difficult to predict.
Emissions of these gases may represent both short and long term hazards depending on the nature of the gas mixture, the geological conditions and the proximity and extent of buildings, construction operations, underground mining or tunnels.
A number of former mining communities have suffered from methane seeping into buildings, including Bedford Terrace in Barnsley, Mosborough in South Yorkshire, Gateshead, and Arkwright Town in Derbyshire where uncontrollable methane emissions were detected in houses and public buildings.
In the 1990s Arkwright Town was demolished and rebuilt at a safe location about a mile from its original site.
In 1995 oxygen deficient air containing high levels of carbon dioxide (locally known as stythe) has caused problems in Northumberland, and led to the death of a man at Widdrington Station.
Accumulation of methane gas, thought to originate from deeply buried rocks, led to the fatal explosion at Abbeystead in Lancashire in 1984.
As a consequence of legislative requirements relating to land gas emissions, the BGS developed new 1:50 000 scale gas emission susceptibility data.
This is in a format suitable for use by local authorities and also for the provision of reports to developers, their advisers and property owners through the BGS GeoReports service and our data resellers.
Contact Digital Data for more information.