Photograph with permission from Ferm, J.C., and Weisenfluh, G.A., Cored rocks of the southern Appalachians, 1981, University of Kentucky
Western Kentucky coal production is increasingly dependent on underground mining. Information obtained from operating mines, as well as from mines not currently operating, can aid in our understanding of local underground resources and lead to an accurate assessment of future coal and energy resources. Data from recent mining operations are being compared with data from boreholes drilled in other parts of the coal field so that coalbed depth, thickness, and quality can be better understood. A database has been compiled containing more than 3,000 subsurface records. Go to Coal Data and scroll down to coal borehole database for more information on obtaining data.
Coal horizons in the subsurface beyond the limit of mining and coring are being correlated. This requires analysis of hundreds of geophysical logs drilled for oil and gas exploration. Subtle geophysical signatures of coals and other strata can be used to project the positions of possible coal-bearing strata in the deep subsurface. Results of these analyses can be used for future coal and coalbed-methane exploration.
For More Information:
Greb, S.F., Eble, C.F., and Chesnut, D.R., Jr., 2002, Comparison of the Eastern and Western Kentucky Coal Fields, U.S.A-Why are coal distribution patterns and sulfur contents so different in these coal fields?: International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 50, p. 89-118. (for pdf version via Sciencedirect).
Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin, 2001, Toward a more uniform stratigraphic nomenclature for rock units (formations and groups) of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin: Illinois Basin Consortium 5, 26 p.
Eble, C.F., Greb, S.F., and Williams, D.A., 2001, The geology and palynology of Lower and Middle Pennsylvanian Strata in the Western Kentucky Coal Field: International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 47, p. 189-206. (for pdf version via Sciencedirect).
Williams, D.A., Williamson, A.D., and Beard, J.G., 1982, Stratigraphic framework of coal-bearing rocks in the Western Kentucky Coal Field: Kentucky Geological Survey, ser. 11, Information Circular 8, 201 p. (available at the Kentucky Geological Survey).
Chestnut, D.R., Jr., Nuttall, B.C., Hower, J.C., Greb, S.F., Eble, C.F., Hiett, J.K., and Williams, D.A., 1997, Coalbed methane in Kentucky [abs]: Proceedings of the International Coalbed Methane Symposium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.