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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 64 (1980)

Issue: 8. (August)

First Page: 1287

Last Page: 1288

Title: Coal in West Virginia: Geology and Current Mining Trends: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Gayle H. McColloch, Jr., B. Mitchell Blake, Jr.

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Coal measures of West Virginia range in age from earliest Pennsylvanian to Permian. The state is divided into southern and northern coalfields or basins separated by a zone termed the hinge line. Deposition of the coal measures in the southern basin occurred under conditions of rapid subsidence, while deposition in the northern basin occurred on a relatively stable platform.

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The hinge line appears to mark the northern limit of a series of growth faults that account for much of the subsidence in the southern basin.

Coal production in 1979 was 113,793,868 short tons (85,697,048 short tons in 1978), according to the West Virginia Department of Mines Annual Report. Estimated remaining recoverable reserves total 57,139,067,471 short tons.

The West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey is involved in a 10-year program to remap coal seams and map mines to obtain more accurate estimates of remaining reserves throughout the state. A great number of coal samples are being collected and analyzed; most analyses are available to the public and will be used to map coal-quality parameters.

Mining has proceeded from outcrops of thick, high-quality coals near early railroads and navigable waterways to areas where the coal is thin, deep, impure, or relatively far from surface transportation facilities. Recently, exploration and development have occurred in the hinge-line area, traditionally regarded as relatively barren.

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