The geochemistry, petrology, and palynology of the Duckmantian-age Pond Creek coal bed were investigated in northern Pike and southern Martin counties, eastern Kentucky. The coal bed exhibits significant vertical variation in the investigated geochemical parameters, with many diagenetic overprints of the original geochemistry. Included in the range of geochemical signatures are the presence of elements, particularly TiO2 and Zr, suggesting the detrital influences at the time of deposition of a low-vitrinite durain; a high CaO zone with elevated B/Be, both suggesting marine influence, in a lithotype in the middle of the coal bed; and the postdepositional emplacement of pyrite in the uppermost lithotype. Individual lithotypes, each representing distinct depositional environments, all complicated to some degree by diagentic overprints, comprise the complex history of the coal bed. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.