The Westphalian C strata found in the northeastern part of the former Belgian coal district (Campine Basin), which is part of an extensive northwest European paralic coal basin, are considered. The thickness and lateral continuity of the Westphalian C coal seams vary considerably stratigraphically and areally. Sedimentological facies analysis of borehole cores indicates that the deposition of Westphalian C coal-bearing strata was controlled by fluvial depositional systems whose architectures were ruled by local subsidence rates. The local subsidence rates may be related to major faults, which were intermittently reactivated during deposition. Lateral changes in coal seam groups are also reflected by marked variations of their seismic signatures. Westphalian C fluvial depositional systems include moderate to low sinuosity braided and anastomosed river systems. Stable tectonic conditions on upthrown, fault-bounded platforms favoured deposition by braided rivers and the associated development of relatively thick, laterally continuous coal seams in raised mires. In contrast, rapidly subsiding downthrown fault blocks favoured aggradation, probably by anastomosed rivers and the development of relatively thin, highly discontinuous coal seams in topogenous mires.