Fossil spores and pollen have long been recognized as valuable tools for identifying and correlating coal beds. This paper describes the palynology of late Middle Pennsylvanian coal beds in the Appalachian Basin with emphasis on forms that assist both intra- and interbasinal coal bed correlation. Stratigraphically important palynomorphs that originate in late Middle Pennsylvanian strata include Torispora securis, Murospora kosankei, Triquitrites minutus, Cadiospora magna, Mooreisporites inusitatus, and Schopfites dimorphus. Taxa that terminate in the late Middle Pennsylvanian include Radiizonates difformis, Densosporites annulatus, Dictyotriletes bireticulatus, Vestispora magna, and Savitrisporites nux. Species of Lycospora, Cirratriradites, Vestispora, and Thymospora, as well as Granasporites medius, Triquitrites sculptilis, and T. securis and their respective ranges slightly higher, in earliest Late Pennsylvanian age strata. Late Middle Pennsylvanian and earliest Late Pennsylvanian strata in the Appalachian Basin correlate with the Radiizonates difformis (RD), Mooreisporites inusitatus (MI), Schopfites colchesterensis-S. dimorphus (CP), and Lycospora granulata-Granasporites medius (GM) spore assemblage zones of the Eastern Interior, or Illinois Basin. In the Western Interior Basin, these strata correlate with the middle-upper portion of the Torispora securis-Laevigatosporites globosus (SG) and lower half of the Thymospora pseudothiessenii-Schopfites dimorphus (PD) assemblage zones. In western Europe, late Middle Pennsylvanian and earliest Late Pennsylvanian strata correlate with the middle-upper portion of the Torispora securis-T. laevigata (SL) and the middle part of the Thymospora obscura-T. thiessenii (OT) spore assemblage zones. Allegheny Formation coal beds also correlate with the Torispora securis (X) and Thymospora obscura (XI) spore assemblages, which were developed for coal beds in Great Britain. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Palynology of late Middle Pennsylvanian coal beds in the Appalachian Basin