STS068-246-061 Strip Mining Near Ruhland, Germany October, 1994 Lignite coal strip mines can be seen scattered throughout the image in this southeast-looking view. This part of eastern Germany some 70 miles (113 km) southeast of Berlin has numerous seams or outcrops of lignite, a low-grade brownish-black coal. The seams or outcrops of the Lignite are very close to the surface of the ground and can be mined by the removal of topsoil and vegetation. Near the left center of the image, water has filled older strip mines now depleted of lignite coal. Forests (darker greenish color) and agricultural field patterns (lighter colored landscape) are also seen scattered throughout the image.