The process of excavating and mining coal causes fractures in the overlying and underlying strata. The fractures provide pathways for gas released from coal seams and other gas-bearing strata to flow into the mine workings. Coal seam gas typically contains high concentrations of methane with lesser concentrations of carbon dioxide. Low concentrations of other gases such as nitrogen, hydrogen sulphide and ethane may also be present in some coal seams. In certain geological settings, particularly in close proximity to geological structures, such as faults and dykes, the concentration of gases contained in a coal seam can vary significantly between methane-rich to carbon dioxide-rich.