Tournasian (Mississippian) Price Formation semianthracites (Rmax = 2.40%) in the Valley Fields of southwestern Virginia contain a lithotype described in an early-20th-century report as a "sand" coal. The Center for Applied Energy Research inherited a collection of coals containing sand coal specimens, making it possible to study the lithotype from the long-closed mines. The sand coal consists of rounded quartz sand and maceral assemblages (secretinite, corpogelinite, and rounded collotelinite) along with banded collotelinite, vitrodetrinite, and inertodetrinite assemblages. The association of rounded macerals and similar-size quartz grains suggests transport. Oxidation rims surrounding the rounded collotelinite provides further evidence for transport. Due to the semianthracite rank, palynology could not be performed. Stratigraphic evidence indicates that the Lepidodendropsis flora would have been the dominant mire vegetation. Pteridosperms in this assemblage could have contributed resin rodlets, subsequently metamorphosed to collogelinite or secretinite. While a resin rodlet origin is an intriguing possibility for the origin of the rounded macerals (at least some of the rounded maceral, the rounded collotelinite clearly has a different origin), we cannot definitively prove this origin. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Tales from a distant swamp: Petrological and paleobotanical clues for the origin of the sand coal lithotype (Mississippian, Valley Fields, Virginia)