Geochemistry, petrology, and palynology of the Princess No. 3 coal, Greenup County, Kentucky

Madison M. Hood, Cortland F. Eble, James C. Hower, Shifeng Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The high volatile C bituminous-rank, Bolsovian-age Princess No. 3 coal, a correlative of the heavily-mined Hazard No. 7 coal and the Peach Orchard and Coalburg Lower Split coals, was investigated three sites at a mine in Greenup County, Kentucky. The coal exhibits a “dulling upwards” trend, with decreasing vitrinite and a greater tendency towards dull clarain and bone lithotypes towards the top of the coal. The relatively vitrinite-rich basal lithotype is marked by a dominance of lycopod tree spores. The palynology transitions upwards to a middle parting co-dominated by tree fern and small lycopod spores and an upper bench dominated by tree ferns with contributions from small ferns, cordaites, and calamites. The lithotypes generally have a moderate- to high-S content with a variable ash yield. Sulfur, Fe2O3, and certain siderophile elements are highest near the top of the coal. As observed in other coals, uranium and Ge are enriched at the top and bottom margins of the coal. The rare earth chemistry at the top of the coal has a significantly lighter distribution (higher LREE/HREE) than at the base of the coal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-651
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


  • Coal lithology
  • Lanthanides
  • Maceral
  • Rare earth elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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