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Centralia, Columbia Co., Pennsylvania, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 40° 48' 15'' North , 76° 20' 26'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 40.80417,-76.34083
Köppen climate type:Dfa : Hot-summer humid continental climate

Location of a burning anthracite coal mine along Pennsylvania route 61 in Columbia County. The largest underground coal fire in the US. The fire originated in a trash dump in a strip mine near Odd Fellows Cemetery in 1962. Mistakenly believed to have been extinguished that same year, the fire was allowed to continue burning. The fires expanded into the chain of underground mine shafts and by 1981 was causing subsidence within the town's borders. In 1983 a Government buy out of properties relocated residents, reducing the population of Centralia from its highest number of 1,100 to a mere 46 residents by 1984. In 1994 PA route 54/61 had to be closed and rerouted via Byrnsville Road, due to buckling of the pavement surface caused by the heat produced by the burning coal mine underneath. Mineralogy typical of that produced by burning coal. The various vents for the gases, both artificial and natural, are encrusted with sulphurous minerals.

The town was "used" in the idea of the series of horror movies known as "Silent Hill".

Mineral List

10 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

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298.9 - 323.2 Ma

ID: 2984571
Llewellyn Formation

Age: Pennsylvanian (298.9 - 323.2 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Llewellyn Formation

Description: Gray, fine- to coarse-grained sandstone, siltstone, shale, conglomerate, and numerous anthracite coals in repetitive sequences.

Lithology: Major:{sandstone}, Minor:{siltstone,shale,anthracite}, Incidental:{conglomerate}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Livingood, Matt, Jason Winicaties, Jared Stein (1999), Centralia Mine Fire Analysis: Presence of Sulfur-bearing Mineral Deposits at Thermal Vents, Centralia Coal Fire Analysis: Presence of Sulfur-bearing Mineral Deposits, ESL 201 – paper for Fundamental Techniques in Geology, Dr. C. Gil Wiswall, West Chester University, December 15, 1999.

Stracher, Glenn B., (2007) Gas Vent Mineralogy of Coal Fires Burning Around the World, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs: 39(2): 81.

Elick, Jennifer M. (2013): The effect of abundant precipitation on coal fire subsidence and its implications in Centralia, Pennsylvania. International Journal of Coal Geology: 105: 110–119.

Martinez-Parrish, Amy, D. Ressler, J. Kitsko, Pennsylvania Highways - Centralia, Susquehanna University Department of Geological Sciences, Department of Earth & Environmental Science.

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