Coal of the Narragansett basin generally has been considered to be anthracite and/or meta-anthracite. However, no single reliable method has been used to distinguish these two ranks in this basin. Three methods - chemical, X-ray, and petrographic - have been used with some degree of success on coal of the Narragansett basin, but too often the results are in conflict. Chemical methods have been limited by inadequate sampling on a coal-bed-by-coal-bed basis and by a lack of analyses made according to (American Society for Testing and Materials, 1974) standard specifications. In addition, when corrections are made by using the Parr formulas, as required by the ASTM (1974) procedures, the generally high to very high ash content of coal from the Narragansett basin causes the fixed-carbon content to appear higher than it actually is. X-ray methods using the degree of graphitization as a measure of rank are not reliable because some of the graphite is related to shearing and brecciation associated with folding and faulting. Petrographic methods using reflectance on vitrinite give results that are generally consistent with results from chemical determinations. However, it is not clear whether the mean maximum reflectance or mean bireflectance is a better indicator of similar rank of such high-rank coals that have been structurally deformed. Coal from the Cranston Mine, RI, is probably meta-anthracite and coal from the Portsmouth Mine is probably anthracite. These ranks are based on chemical,X-ray, and petrographic data and are supported by associated metamorphic mineral assemblages that indicate that the Cranston Mine is in a higher metamorphic zone than the zone containing the Porthmouth Mine. Interpretation of the rank of Mansfield, MA, coal on the basis of extant chemical data is difficult because it is an impure coal with an ash content of 33 to 50%. Reflectance data indicate that the Mansfield, Foxborough, and Plainville coals in the northern part of the Narragansett basin are meta-anthracite but this is in disagreement with the rank suggested by the low degree of metamorphism of the associated rocks. ?? 1981.
Additional publication details
Rank of coal beds of the Narragansett basin, Massachusetts and Rhode Island