Results of coalbed-methane drilling, Meadowfill Landfill, Harrison County, West Virginia

Professional Paper 1708-G.4
By: , and 
Edited by: Leslie F. Ruppert and Robert T. Ryder



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funded drilling of a borehole (39.33889°N., 80.26542°W.) to evaluate the potential of enhanced coalbed-methane production from unminable Pennsylvanian coal beds at the Meadowfill Landfill near Bridgeport, Harrison County, W. Va. The drilling commenced on June 17, 2004, and was completed on July 1, 2004. The total depth of the borehole was 1,081 feet (ft) and contained 1,053.95 ft of Pennsylvanian coal-bearing strata, and 27.05 ft of Mississippian strata.

A total of 37.02 ft of high-volatile A and B bituminous Pennsylvanian coal was cored and desorbed from the Harlem, Brush Creek, Upper Freeport, Upper Kittanning upper split, and Upper Kittanning coal beds and the Clarion coal zone. Intact coal intervals were desorbed for a maximum period of 92 days before they were crushed to approximately 10-mesh to determine residual gas amounts. Crushed coal was desorbed for a period of 36 days. Measured gas content, on a dry, ash-free basis, ranged from 79.69 standard cubic feet per ton (SCF/ton), or 2.49 cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g), for the Harlem coal bed to 223.21 SCF/ton, or 6.98 cc/g, for the Clarion coal zone.

Methane contents of desorbed gas from coal samples in the Meadowfill Landfill study area ranged from 14.87 to 98.73 percent (corrected for air contamination) for the Harlem coal bed and Clarion coal zone, respectively. Proportions of methane to the sum of the higher molecular weight hydrocarbons ranged from about 40 to 340 as the desorbed gas contained only a small percentage of higher weight hydrocarbons. Coalbed methane from the Upper Kittanning upper split and the Upper Kittanning coal beds is thermogenic in origin with isotopic composition of carbon (carbon 13, 13C) in methane (expressed as δ13C in units of parts per thousand (per mil) relative to the Vienna Peedee belemnite (VPDB) standard) ranging from -46.6 to -48.7 per mil. Coalbed methane from the Brush Creek and Upper Freeport coal beds and the Clarion coal zone contains some biogenic methane with δ13C values ranging from -51.05 to -51.56 per mil.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Results of coalbed-methane drilling, Meadowfill Landfill, Harrison County, West Virginia
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1708
Chapter G.4
DOI 10.3133/pp1708G.4
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description Report: v, 22 p.; Appendix A
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Coal and petroleum resources in the Appalachian basin: distribution, geologic framework, and geochemical character (Professional Paper 1708)
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Harrison County
Other Geospatial Appalachian basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details