A review of the lignite resources of Arkansas

AAPG Studies in Geology 62- 17
By: , and 
Edited by: Peter D. WarwickAlexander K. KarlsenMatthew D. Merrill, and Brett J. Valentine



This review of the lignite resources of Arkansas is a part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Coal Resource Assessment (NCRA) of the Gulf Coastal Plain Coal Province, which also includes coal-bearing areas in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky (see Ruppert et al., 2002; Dennen, 2009; and other chapters of this publication). Lignite mining is not planned in Arkansas in the immediate future, and the lignite resources of the state were not assessed in detail as part of the NCRA. This chapter includes reviews of the geology of the lignite-bearing units, historical mining, previous investigations of lignite resources, and coal quality. Palynological data for lignite samples collected in Arkansas as part of this work are presented in Table 1.

The lignite-bearing stratigraphic units of Arkansas are part of the Mississippi Embayment of the Gulf Coastal Plain, a trough of Cretaceous through Quaternary sedimentary strata that plunge gently southward along an axis that generally is coincident with the course of the Mississippi River (Figure 1) (Cushing et al., 1964). The sedimentary strata of the Gulf Coastal Plain of Arkansas are, in general, flat-lying or gently dipping southeastward to eastward toward the embayment axis. Coal and lignite occur in Cretaceous through Tertiary strata of Arkansas and previously have been investigated in two principal regions within the State where units of these ages crop out: south-central Arkansas (West Gulf Coastal Plain) and Crowley’s Ridge in the northeastern part of the State (Figure 2).

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title A review of the lignite resources of Arkansas
Series title AAPG Studies in Geology
Series number 62
Chapter 17
ISBN 9781629810256
DOI 10.1306/13281375St621292
Volume 62
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description 13 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Geologic assessment of coal in the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain: AAPG Studies in Geology vol. 62
First page 313
Last page 325
Country United States
State Arkansas