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Mine Subsidence and Damage to Residential Structures

COURSE NO: G01-004
Mine Subsidence and Damage to Residential Structures
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course discusses the phenomenon of mine subsidence and the problems that it may cause to residential structures. While it is based on specific conditions in Illinois, many of these same conditions exist in the other coal-mining states mentioned below.  The geologic setting, mining methods, types of subsidence, effects of subsidence, and possible repair of subsidence-damaged residences are all described.  Because damage from mine subsidence is sometimes confused with damage from other causes such as expansive soils, the course describes how the different sources of damage may be distinguished.


Large regions of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are underlain with coal deposits that lie so far below the surface that they can be extracted only through underground (rather than surface) mining.  Many of these mines were dug well over one hundred years ago in areas that were uninhabited or sparsely settled at the time.  Today these areas are home to residential subdivisions and retail centers, some of which now sit above abandoned mines.  In these mines, the coal pillars and timbers that originally supported the mine roof collapse from age and water damage, and as a result the roof comes down, the earth material overlying the coal sinks, and the surface of the land above the mine subsides.  Any structure lying on the surface is liable to damage from the subsidence. 


This 1 PDH online course is intended for city, county, and military-base engineers concerned with land subsidence problems caused by the collapse of underground mines.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Learning signs and underlying causes of subsidence
  • Knowing about high-extraction mining methods with planned subsidence and low-extraction mining methods such as room-and-pillar, with unplanned subsidence
  • Understanding the dangers of abandoned mines
  • Understanding pit and sag subsidence
  • Knowing methods of repairing damaged houses built on slabs, with crawl spaces, or with basements 
  • Learning the effects on utilities and drainage
  • Distinguishing between damage caused by mine subsidence from damage caused by soil expansion, freezing and thawing, piping, or brick expansion with temperature change
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the course document titled, “Mine Subsidence and Damage to Residential Structures” which is based on Circular 569 of the Illinois State Geological Survey, “Mine Subsidence in Illinois: Facts for Homeowners,” by Robert A. Bauer, 2006.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Mine Subsidence and Damage to Residential Structures (5.6 MB)
Course Quiz

Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of ten (10) questions to earn 1 PDH credit. The quiz will be based on Circular 569 of the Illinois State Geological Survey.

The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: