Splint coals of the Central Appalachians: Petrographic and geochemical facies of the Peach Orchard No. 3 split coal bed, southern Magoffin County, Kentucky

International Journal of Coal Geology
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Abstract

The Bolsovian (Middle Pennsylvanian) Peach Orchard coal bed is one of the splint coals of the Central Appalachians. Splint coal is a name for the dull, inertinite-rich lithologies typical of coals of the region. The No. 3 Split was sampled at five locations in Magoffin County, Kentucky and analyzed for petrography and major and minor elements. The No. 3 Split coals contain semifusinite-rich lithologies, up to 48% (mineral-free basis) in one case. The nature of the semifusinite varies with position in the coal bed, containing more mineral matter of detrital origin in the uppermost durain. The maceral assemblage of these terminal durains is dominated by detrital fusinite and semifusinite, suggesting reworking of the maceral assemblage coincident with the deposition of the detrital minerals. However, a durain in the middle of the coal bed, while lithologically similar to the uppermost durains, has a degraded, macrinite-rich, texture. The inertinite macerals in the middle durain have less distinct edges than semifusinites in the uppermost terminal durains, suggesting degradation as a possible path to inertinite formation. The uppermost durain has higher ash and semifusinite contents at the eastern sites than at the western sites. The difference in the microscopic petrology indicates that megascopic petrology alone can be a deceptive indicator of depositional environments and that close attention must be paid to the individual macerals and their implications for the depositional setting, especially within the inertinite group.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Splint coals of the Central Appalachians: Petrographic and geochemical facies of the Peach Orchard No. 3 split coal bed, southern Magoffin County, Kentucky
Series title International Journal of Coal Geology
DOI 10.1016/j.coal.2010.12.012
Volume 85
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 268
Last page 275