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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 68 (1984)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 502

Last Page: 502

Title: Paleocene Lignite Deposits of Southwest Alabama: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Ernest A. Mancini


In southwest Alabama, lignite having economic potential occurs in the Oak Hill Member of the Naheola Formation. This middle Paleocene lignite generally consists of a single bed of 1-14 ft (0.5-4 m) in thickness and is the most extensive lignite in the southwest Alabama region. The Oak Hill lignite deposit accumulated in lower delta plain coastal marshes in interchannel areas behind a barrier system. The source area for the deltaic sediments was probably to the west and/or northwest of Choctaw County, Alabama. The lignite occurs in a clay-dominated sequence. Oak Hill interdistributary bay ripple-laminated clays are interbedded with ripple-laminated, crevasse splay sands generally less than 15 ft (5 m) thick. The glauconitic sands of the overlying Coal Bluff Marl Member of he Naheola Formation represent times of marine encroachment into the interchannel basin area.

Lignite having subeconomic value at present occurs in the upper part of the Tuscahoma Sand. This upper Paleocene lignite is irregular in its outcrop pattern and apparently is not represented over extensive areas. It is locally persistent with one or more beds less than 3 ft (1 m) thick. The Tuscahoma may contain up to 6 lignite seams that may exceed a total thickness of 5 ft (1.5 m). These lignite beds were deposited in lower delta-plain coastal marshes adjacent to high constructive deltaic bar finger sands. Tuscahoma marsh clays are interbedded with ripple-laminated and cross-bedded bar finger sands. The Tuscahoma Sand is overlain by the Bashi Marl Member of the Hatchetigbee Formation. The Bashi contains a diverse lower Eocene marine fossil assemblage.

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