Changes in high-volatile bituminous coal (Pennsylvanian) near contacts with two volcanic intrusions in Illinois were investigated with respect to optical properties, coal chemistry, and coal pore structure. Vitrinite reflectance (Ro) increases from 0.62% to 5.03% within a distance of 5.5??m from the larger dike, and from 0.63% to 3.71% within 3.3??m from the small dike. Elemental chemistry of the coal shows distinct reductions in hydrogen and nitrogen content close to the intrusions. No trend was observed for total sulfur content, but decreases in sulfate content towards the dikes indicate thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR). Contact-metamorphism has a dramatic effect on coal porosity, and microporosity in particular. Around the large dike, the micropore volume, after a slight initial increase, progressively decreases from 0.0417??cm3/g in coal situated 4.7??m from the intrusive contact to 0.0126??cm3/g at the contact. Strongly decreasing mesopore and micropore volumes in the altered zone, together with frequent cleat and fracture filling by calcite, indicate deteriorating conditions for both coalbed gas sorption and gas transmissibility. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.