The Organic Petrology Laboratory (OPL) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center in Reston, Virginia, contains several thousand processed coal sample materials that were loosely organized in laboratory drawers for the past several decades. The majority of these were prepared as 1-inch-diameter particulate coal pellets (more than 6,000 pellets; one sample usually was prepared as two pellets, although some samples were prepared in as many as four pellets), which were polished and used in reflected light petrographic studies. These samples represent the work of many scientists from the 1970s to the present, most notably Ron Stanton, who managed the OPL until 2001 (see Warwick and Ruppert, 2005, for a comprehensive bibliography of Ron Stanton's work). The purpose of the project described herein was to organize and catalog the U.S. part of the petrographic sample collection into a comprehensive database (available with this report as a Microsoft Excel file) and to compile and list published studies associated with the various sample sets. Through this work, the extent of the collection is publicly documented as a resource and sample library available to other scientists and researchers working in U.S. coal basins previously studied by organic petrologists affiliated with the USGS. Other researchers may obtain samples in the OPL collection on loan at the discretion of the USGS authors listed in this report and its associated Web page.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Database of the United States Coal Pellet Collection of the U.S. Geological Survey Organic Petrology Laboratory