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Chemical and Mineralogical Differences Between Kittanning Coals from Marine-influenced Versus Fluvial Sequences
Results from chemical and mineralogical analysis of channel samples of Lower Kittanning Coal are used to establish differences between coals formed in two paleoenvironments. The two major paleoenvironments represented by Kittanning Coals in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are a marine-influenced paleoenvironment to the northwest and a fluvial-influenced paleoenvironment to the southeast. Based on chemical data from 143 samples, coals formed in a fluvial paleoenvironment are higher in Cu, Cr, Ti, K, Si, and Al. Marine-influenced coals are higher in Zn, Fe, pyritic sulfur, sulfate sulfur, and possibly Ca.
Mineralogical studies on 34 samples from both paleoenvironments show higher kaolinite and sporadically high quartz and illite in fluvial-influenced samples and higher pyrite in marine-influenced samples. The clay mineralogy consists primarily of well-crystallized kaolinite, illite, and some mixed-layer material.
Chemical differences between coals from the two major paleoenvironments can be condensed in a discriminant function based on pyritic sulfur, Ti, Fe, Si, Al, sulfate sulfur, and Zn. This discriminant function correctly classifies suites of bituminous coals from other areas.
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