Assessment of Coal Resources and Reserves in the Little Snake River Coal Field and Red Desert Assessment Area, Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming

Fact Sheet 2019-3053
By: , and 

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Abstract

The assessment of the Little Snake River coal field and Red Desert area covers approximately 2,300 square miles in the eastern portion of the Greater Green River Basin in south-central Wyoming. Coal-bearing formations are present throughout the Eocene, Paleocene, and Cretaceous strata in the assessment area. Paleogene-age coal beds are present in the Eocene Wasatch Formation and Paleocene Fort Union Formation. Cretaceous-age coal beds are present in the Lance, Almond, and Allen Ridge Formations. Utilizing over 4,000 data points, 55 individual coal beds were identified in the assessment area. Coal resources were calculated using geologic models generated from these data points, using criteria for minimum thickness and areal extent. The geologic modeling criteria indicated that 33 of the 55 individual coal beds had sufficient thickness and areal extent to be economically significant. Calculated original coal resources within the assessment area were approximately 73.2 billion short tons (BST). After excluding coal resources lost due to land use and technical restrictions, recoverable coal resources were approximately 19.37 BST, including 2.14 BST of coal resources that could be extracted using surface mining methods and 17.23 BST of coal resources that could be extracted using underground mining methods. Due to mining costs and projected low potential sales value of the coal resources, only approximately 167 million short tons (MST) can be classified as reserves, which is less than 1 percent of the recoverable coal resources

Suggested Citation

Shaffer, B.N., Pierce, P.E., Kinney, S.A., Olea, R., and Luppens, J.A., 2019, Assessment of coal resources and reserves in the Little Snake River coal field and Red Desert assessment area, Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3053, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193053.

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Setting and Background Information
  • Assessment Criteria
  • Assessment Results
  • Conclusions
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Assessment of coal resources and reserves in the Little Snake River coal field and Red Desert assessment area, Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2019-3053
DOI 10.3133/fs20193053
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Central Energy Resources Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 1
Last page 6
Country United States
State Wyoming
Other Geospatial Little Snake River, Red Desert
Online Only (Y/N) N