Brecciated and mineralized coals in Union County Western Kentucky coal field

James C. Hower, David A. Williams, Cortland F. Eble, Tanaporn Sakulpitakphon, David P. Moecher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Coals from the D-2 and D-3 boreholes in the Grove Center 7 1/2 min quadrangle, Union County, KY, have been found to be highly brecciated and mineralized. The mineralization is dominated by a carbonate assemblage with minor sulfides and sulfates. Included among the secondary minerals is the lead selenide, clausthalite. Overall, the emplacement of secondary vein minerals was responsible for raising the rank of the coals from the 0.6-0.7% Rmax range found in the area to as high as 0.95-0.99% Rmax. A 1.3-m-thick coal found in one of the boreholes is unique among known Western Kentucky coals in having less than 50% vitrinite. Semifusinite and fusinite dominate the maceral assemblages. The coal is also low in sulfur coal, which is unusual for the Illinois Basin. It has an ash yield of less than 10%; much of it dominated by pervasive carbonate veining. The age of the thick coal in core D-2 is similar to that of the Elm Lick coal bed, found elsewhere in the Western Kentucky coalfield. The coals in D-3 are younger, having Stephanian palynomorph assemblages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 2001


  • Coal
  • Kentucky
  • Mineralization
  • Petrology
  • Tectonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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