The recent downturn in coal mining has slowed its spread, but mountaintop removal mining has already reached across the coalfields over the past 30 years.
Using a Google app called Timelapse, you can observe the changes in the central Appalachian coalfields, especially southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
And here’s a close-up of the Hobet Mine in Boone and Lincoln Counties, W.Va.
Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab’s Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time.