Kentucky Coal Data for the National Coal Resource Data System

Grants and Contracts Details


Introduction The objective of this project is to collect, prepare, and enter Kentucky coal data into the National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS), a Federal coal data base. NCRDS provides a means by which coal thickness, coal elevation, coal quality data and stratigraphic data can be entered into relational data bases of the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for use by the public, industry, State, and Federal agencies. These data are critical for regional evaluations of coal resources and reserves such as those undertaken by the USGS as part of the National Coal Assessment (NCA), Coal Availability Study (CAS), and Coal Recoverability Study (CRS). Background For many years the Kentucky Geological Survey has collected coal thickness, borehole, and quality data for use in stratigraphic correlations and resource calculations. Kentucky ranks third in u.s. coal production, with more than 130 MT annual production. Kentucky produces coal from two coal fields, the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field, and the Western Kentucky Coal Field. Understanding the resources of the coal fields, especially subsurface resources, is critical to regional resource evaluations and policy planning. Since FY 1991, data collection has been part of cooperative KGS- USGS studies. Data collected to elate includes digitized outlines of some of the top producing coals in the state for regional assessments, and computerization of company borehole records. As of 2004, the KGS coal thickness database for eastern Kentucky contained over 25,000 coal thickness measurements. The KGS Borehole Data System (BDS) contained more than 9,600 publicly available borehole records. These data were the basis for quadranglescale resource evaluations cosponsored by the USGS and KGS in the CAS, and the Kentucky part of regional NCA. Another important aspect of coal data collection in Kentucky has been digitization of regional coal-map data. These map data were utilized in regional coal assessments of the NCA in the Appalachian and Illinois basins. Although lithologic and thickness data have been entered for all of the boreholes in the BDS, correlation, validation, and stratigraphic identification (tagging) of individual beds has concentrated on those beds that were the focus of the CAS and NCA. More work is needed in correlating, validating, and tagging other coal beds recorded in existing boreholes. The shift from local to more regional assessments of coal resources demonstrated the need for more regional coal-quality data. The KGS coal quality data base currently contains 2000 proximate analyses, 1500 ultimate analyses, and approximately 700 trace-clement analyses, which have been useful in select areas, but arc inadequate for regional characterization of the coals. Hard copy coal-quality data that becomes available will continue to be added to the coal quality database. Should more funding be made available, additional coals could be sampled for coal quality information. The coal borehole, thickness, quality, and production databases are currently searchable on the KGS Web site (!/coalsearch.asp). Tabular information from each database can be downloaded as a text file, and graphic borehole stip logs can be viewed. In addition, all point-source data can be spatially referenced via ArclMS services. Purpose The assimilation of various forms of electronic coal data into a public database provides industry, government agencies, research institutions, and the public with access to data that can be used for numerous applications. The purpose of this proposal is to continue gathering, encoding, and validating coal thickness, stratigraphic, and quality data for coal-bearing rocks in the Eastern and Western Kentucky Coal Fields. Should future funding be available, further sampling of coals could be undertaken for analyzing the quality, palynology, petrograpby, and in some cases the trace elements, of coal beds in Kentucky, which would aid in the production of digital files of various coal-bed parameters in the Appalachian and Illinois Basin regions. Goals for FY 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,2009 Coal data will be collected from industry and government sources. Data will continue to be encoded and validated through the use of cross sections and focused studies on the principal producing coal zones in the Eastern and Western Kentucky Coal Fields for NCRDS. KGS will be enhancing existing coal thickness measurements by adding measured stratigraphic sections from which they were obtained. Coal quality, petrographic, and palynologic data will be added to the NCRDS data base. All point-source and stratigraphic data will be encoded according to established NCRDS methods. Data will be nonproprietary in nature. Coal data entered into KGS data bases under the grant will be submitted to the USGS upon request, in an electronic format compatible with the NCRDS computer system.
Effective start/end date7/1/056/30/10


  • US Geological Survey: $206,217.00


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