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Mineability of Kentucky Coals
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The thickness and quality of coals, and the types of rocks that occur in roofs and floors, are being examined at mine sites in both the Eastern and Western Kentucky Coal Fields. If geologic features such as faults and roof falls are understood in one mine, then that knowledge can be used to assess similar problems in other mines. Information is collected from mines with known problems, and from the results of other Kentucky Geological Survey research projects. Mine operators who encounter geologic obstacles can also ask KGS geologists to visit their mine and help them understand problems. Results of this program are published in reports and articles about the mineability of Kentucky coals and will also be incorporated in the coal atlas.
Investigations completed so far have helped us understand how coal-thickness and roof trends in Lower Elkhorn mines are related to ancient topography and regional stress fields; how the position of a rider coal and fireclay in the roofs of mines in the Hazard No. 8 coal are related; and how fractures and faulting are related to the occurrence of the Baker (Western Kentucky No. 13) coal. Summaries of the mining geology of the Fire Clay, Lower Elkhorn (Pond Creek), and Western Kentucky coals (which include the Baker (W. Ky. No. 13), Herrin (W. Ky. No. 11), Springfield (W. Ky. No. 9), and Western Kentucky No. 4 coal) have been published as KGS Map and Chart publications.
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