The amount, kind, distribution, and genesis of pyrite in the Lower Bakerstown coal bed in a 150 ?? 15 m area of the Bettinger mine, Castleman coal field, Maryland, were studied by various analytical techniques. The mined coal, which had a nonmarine roof rock, contained 1.4-2.8 wt.% total sulfur, generally much lower than the high-sulfur coal (> 3.0 wt.% total S) to the north, which is associated with marine roof rocks. Small-scale systematic and nonsystematic variations in total sulfur and pyrite distribution were found in the mined area. In the column sample, most of the pyrite was found in the upper 9 cm of the 69-cm-thick mined coal and occurred mainly as a pyrite lens containing cell fillings in seed-fern tissue (coal ball). As-bearing pyrite was detected by laser microprobe techniques in the cell walls of this tissue but not elsewhere in the column sample. This may indicate that the As was derived from decomposition of organic matter in the cell walls. The sulfur isotopic composition and distribution of pyrite in the coal are consistent with introduction of marine sulfate shortly after peat deposition, followed by bacterial reduction and pyrite precipitation. Epigenetic cleat pyrite in the coal is isotopically heavy, implying that later aqueous sulfate was 34S-enriched. ?? 1989.
Additional publication details
Marine origin of pyritic sulfur in the Lower Bakerstown coal bed, Castleman coal field, Maryland (U.S.A.)