Further examination of the ragged edge of the Herrin coal bed, Webster County, Western Kentucky coal field

James C. Hower, David A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Herrin (Western Kentucky No. 11) coal bed in the Dixon 7 1/2 min quadrangle, Webster County, Kentucky, displays another manifestation of the thinning margin of the coal bed. Previous studies in adjacent Hopkins County have demonstrated that the coal is brecciated as the margin is approached. The brecciated coal is not always thin; 1.5 m of brecciated, inertinite-rich coal was previously described to the southeast of the present study area. In general, the brecciated coals are considerably thinner than the 1.5-2-m-thick, "normal" Herrin coal. Both cores studied are thin (22.6 and 33 cm) and display petrographic characteristics different from thicker Herrin coals. The cores described in the present study show some signs of brecciation; in certain cases, the fragmented macerals are cemented by exsudatinite. Multiple generations of pyrite mineralization were noted in one core, with total sulfur exceeding 13% in the upper 8.48 cm lithotype. Overall, the cores investigated in this study, along with examples from previous studies, illustrate the progression of the Herrin coal from its absence, either through nondeposition or erosion, through thin, brecciated coals, to mineable coals. No other economic coal in western Kentucky shows as many examples of the depositional edge as does the Herrin. All of the examples studied are from cores, emphasizing the need to study more than just the thick, mineable coals if the total extent of the coal body is to be understood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - May 2001


  • Coal
  • Geochemistry
  • Herrin coal
  • Illinois basin
  • Kentucky
  • Petrology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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