Petrography and palynology of the Blue Gem coal bed (Middle Pennsylvanian), southeastern Kentucky,USA

Rimmer, Susan M., Hower, James C., Moore, Timothy A., Esterle, Joan S., Walton, Richard L. and Helfrich, Charles T. (2000) Petrography and palynology of the Blue Gem coal bed (Middle Pennsylvanian), southeastern Kentucky,USA. International Journal of Coal Geology, 42 2-3: 159-184. doi:10.1016/S0166-5162(99)00038-5


Author Rimmer, Susan M.
Hower, James C.
Moore, Timothy A.
Esterle, Joan S.
Walton, Richard L.
Helfrich, Charles T.
Title Petrography and palynology of the Blue Gem coal bed (Middle Pennsylvanian), southeastern Kentucky,USA
Journal name International Journal of Coal Geology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0166-5162
Publication date 2000-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0166-5162(99)00038-5
Volume 42
Issue 2-3
Start page 159
End page 184
Total pages 26
Place of publication London
Publisher Elsevier B.V.
Language eng
Subject 240000 Physical Sciences
260000 Earth Sciences
Abstract Petrographic and palynological trends in the Blue Gem coal bed (Middle Pennsylvanian Westphalian B, Breathitt Formation), a thin, low-sulfur, low-ash coal in southeastern Kentucky, were studied in order to establish a depositional model for the seam. Within the study area, the coal bed averages 67 cm and has two distinct zones. The lower and middle parts of the seam (the lower 45–55 cm) are enriched in well-preserved vitrinite and are dominated by arborescent lycopods, sphenopsids, and tree ferns. Fusinite-rich layers, dominated by arborescent lycopods, but also containing herbaceous lycopods and sphenopsids, occur within the lower and middle parts of the seam. The upper part of the seam (the upper 15–25 cm) is recognizable in the field and is distinct in that it contains a greater amount of degraded macerals, and is characterized by high palynomorph diversity, primarily by miospores that are associated with sphenopsids, herbaceous lycopods and arborescent lycopods. These data, in conjunction with geochemical data available for the seam, suggest that initially the peat swamp was fairly diverse and well-nourished (the base of the seam being characterized by a relatively diverse miospore assemblage and a slightly higher ash content). Following this initial planar stage, the Blue Gem peat swamp was probably planar to slightly domed during accumulation of most of the lower and middle parts of the seam, as suggested by the very low ash and sulfur contents, the high telovitrinite content, and the preponderance of arborescent lycopod spores. In its final stages, the peat swamp was domed and is characterized by a more diverse flora and greater levels of degradation of the peat constituents. Sulfur content of this seam is generally low (<1%) but can increase locally to 3–4%. Factors influencing sulfur content include the thickness and nature of the overburden (shale versus sandstone) and petrographic composition.
Keyword low-ash coal
low-sulfur coal
petrography
palynology
vitrinite macerals
Kentucky
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Physical Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 06 Aug 2008, 18:56:30 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of School of Mathematics & Physics