Palynologic and petrographic variation in the Otter Creek coal beds (Stephanian, Upper Carboniferous), western Kentucky

Charles T. Helfrich, James C. Hower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The palynology and petrology of the Lisman (Lower Otter Creek) and Upper Otter Creek coals of the Stephanian portion of the Sturgis Formation of the Western Kentucky coal field was investigated in samples from mine and roadcut exposures. The Lisman coal bed exhibits an upward decrease in palynologic diversity and an upward increase in inertinite macerals. These factors suggest a change in swamp paleoecology in response to a climate which was gradually becoming drier. The Upper Otter Creek coal bed exhibits less lateral continuity in palynomorph assemblages than does the Lisman. The Upper Otter Creek palynomorph assemblages are less diverse than the Lisman assemblages. Overall, the variation in the Upper Otter Creek coal bed cannot be attributed with certainty to any factor other than the local relief within the swamp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalReview of Palaeobotany and Palynology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 30 1989

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Don Pollock of the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) assisted in sampling and seam description. David Williams, Kentucky Geological Survey, provided us with samples from Lisman sites 2 and 3. Garry Wild, CAER, assisted in the petrographic examination of the coals. Research at the CAER is supported by grants from the Kentucky Energy Cabinet. All palynological work was done at Eastern Kentucky University and was not funded by any outside agency.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Paleontology


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