Lexington, KY, United States
Lexington, KY, United States

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Hower J.C.,University of Kentucky | O'Keefe J.M.K.,Morehead State University | Eble C.F.,Kentucky Geological Survey
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2017

Serpukhovian Stage (Chesterian Stage in North American nomenclature) coals in western Kentucky are among the few occurrences of Mississippian coals in eastern North America. Thus, they provide a rare view of early Carboniferous peat-producing ecosystems. Petrographically, the coals are dominated by telovitrinites. Among the inertinite macerals, coprolitic macrinite provides evidence of arthropods fungal-degraded wood. Cutinite has an association with epiphyllous fungus. Owing to the relatively high spore contributions from arborescent Lycopsids, the coals bear a palynologic resemblance to the Pennsylvanian Langsettian through Asturian (Westphalian) coals preserved in the nearby Western Kentucky coalfield. The maceral assemblages, however, show a greater similarity to the Upper Pennsylvanian (Stephanian) coals in western Kentucky. With 66–67% total vitrinite and about 29% total inertinite (dominated by fusinite + semifusinite) (both as volume percent, mineral-fee basis), the Mississippian coals have significantly lower vitrinite percentages than the Westphalian coals. The petrographic similarity is not paralleled by a floristic similarity as the Stephanian flora was marked by the absence of arborescent Lycopsids. Overall, the amount of inertinites and the degradation suggested by a number of the inertinite forms suggests that, not unexpectedly decay and degradation was an important contributor to the Mississippian coals. As with any coals, the Mississippian coals represent a story of preservation more than that of degradation and destruction, with degraded and poorly-preserved fusinite and semifusinite, coprolitic macrinite, and remnants of fungi being the ghosts of the destruction of the biomass. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Hower J.C.,University of Kentucky | O'Keefe J.M.K.,Morehead State University | Eble C.F.,Kentucky Geological Survey | Raymond A.,Texas College | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2011

The role of fungus in the formation of coal macerals, both as a primary contributor in the form of a fungus fossil/maceral funginite, and in their role in degrading wood, thus producing degraded maceral forms, has been established. Fungus, in the course of breaking down the lignin and cellulose in wood, make the wood more digestible for grazers, such as arthropods. In turn, the remnants of the digested wood and anything else eaten but not completely digested are excreted and can be preserved intact; eaten by other fauna with a repeat of the cycle; or colonized by bacteria and/or coprophilous fungi with or without subsequent preservation. Ultimately, the coprolites can be preserved as a form of macrinite. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Hower J.C.,University of Kentucky | O'Keefe J.M.K.,Morehead State University | Eble C.F.,Kentucky Geological Survey | Volk T.J.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2011

The association of fungus with plant leaves and roots is ubiquitous. While many of these occurrences are considered to be pathogenic, mycorrhizzal fungal associations with roots are essential for plant growth. Despite the common knowledge of such relationships in plant science, with a few exceptions, the fungus/leaf/root/stem association as the macerals funginite, cutinite, and suberinite in coals has not been extensively studied. In this work, examples of funginite associations with cutinite and suberinite are discussed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Hower J.C.,University of Kentucky | Eble C.F.,Kentucky Geological Survey | Dai S.,China University of Mining and Technology | Belkin H.E.,U.S. Geological Survey
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2016

Four eastern Kentucky Pennsylvanian coals (from oldest to youngest, the Manchester, Pond Creek, Fire Clay, and Hazard coals) were examined for their total rare earth element (REY) concentration and the possible mechanisms for enrichment of the rare earths. Based on previous studies, four possible modes are considered: terrigenous, tuffaceous, infiltrational, and hydrothermal, with the Dean coal, a correlative of the Fire Clay coal, considered to be a typical example of the tuffaceous mode. The Fire Clay owes much of its high REY content to the presence of a volcanic-ash-fall tonstein, with REY-bearing zircon and phosphates in the coal in numerous locations. Some of the original REY elements may have components of the detrital minerals deposited in the peat. Leaching of REY from the tonstein into the surrounding coal and the hydrothermal overprint of mineralizing fluids associated with the northwestwardly movement of the Pine Mountain thrust sheet contributed to the total REY signature in the Fire Clay coal. Not all coals are going to have the complex history of the Fire Clay coal, but it should be considered that the total history of REY enrichment by multiple mechanisms is what gives us both the total REY concentration and the relative distribution of the individual lanthanide elements. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Hansen A.E.,Kentucky Geological Survey | Hower J.C.,University of Kentucky
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2014

Hardgrove grindability index (HGI) has been a standard test in the coal and coal-fired power generation industries since the 1930s. Previous studies have demonstrated the relationship between HGI and coal rank and the maceral and mineral composition. In particular, within the high volatile bituminous rank range, HGI increases with an increase in coal rank and, for any specific rank, decreases with an increase in the liptinite content. Fundamentally, the HGI test is approximately at the scale of coal microlithotypes, the microscopic assemblages of macerals. In this study, for two relatively narrow rank ranges, each spanning 0.05% Rmax, we examined the relationship between HGI and several maceral and microlithotype ratios for Pennsylvanian eastern Kentucky coals. While some relationships do show statistically significant trends, not all were as well defined as might have been expected. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


D'Angelo E.,University of Kentucky | Zeigler G.,University of Kentucky | Beck E.G.,Kentucky Geological Survey | Grove J.,University of Kentucky | Sikora F.,University of Kentucky
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2012

Manure and bedding material (litter) generated by the broiler industry (Gallus gallus domesticus) often contain high levels of arsenic (As) when organoarsenical roxarsone and p-arsanilic acid are included in feed to combat disease and improve weight gain of the birds. This study was conducted to determine As levels and species in litter from three major broiler producing companies, and As levels in soils, corn tissue (Zea mays L.), and groundwater in fields where litter was applied. Total As in litter from the three different integrators ranged between <1 and 44mgkg-1. Between 15 and 20% of total As in litter consisted of mostly of arsenate, with smaller amounts of roxarsone and several transformation products that were extractable with phosphate buffer. Soils amended with litter had higher levels of bioavailable As (extractable with Mehlich 3 solution and taken up by corn leaves). Arsenic concentrations in plant tissue and groundwater, however, were below the World Health Organization thresholds, which was attributed to strong sorption/precipitation of arsenate in Fe- and Al-rich soils. Ecological impacts of amending soils with As-laden litter depend on the As species in the litter, and chemical and physical properties of soil that strongly affect As mobility and bioavailability in the environment. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Richardson A.R.,University of Kentucky | Richardson A.R.,Chesapeake Energy Co. | Eble C.F.,Kentucky Geological Survey | Hower J.C.,University of Kentucky | O'Keefe J.M.K.,Morehead State University
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2012

The Pennsylvanian No. 5 Block coal bed in eastern Kentucky is one of several coals considered to be among the splint coals of the Central Appalachians. The coals are generally noted for their inertinite-rich dull lithotypes. Petrographic aspects of the lithologies reveal both fire-derived and degradation-derived inertinites in the assemblages. Fire is not an exclusive contributor to the origin to inertinite macerals; there are many other biological factors, such as the actions and interactions of fungi, bacteria, and insects, which must be considered in the alteration of plant materials to form inertinite macerals. Fungi physically and chemically alter plant tissues to form macerals with a distinct morphology and chemistry different than those formed from fire and other abiological processes. Insects, as secondary sources of wood degradation within a mire, are responsible for physical, such as boreholes from wood-consuming insects, and chemical alteration of plants. Degradation observed in macrinite may be boreholes from wood-consuming insects such as mites. Some inertinite macerals, in particular, macrinite, may be the result of inert fecal pellet conglomerates preserved in the mire. Overall, macerals of the same name can form from multiple and complex biological and abiological processes. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..


Liu J.-W.,China Earthquake Administration | Wang Z.-M.,Kentucky Geological Survey | Xie F.-R.,China Earthquake Administration
Chinese Journal of Geophysics (Acta Geophysica Sinica) | Year: 2010

This paper attempts to analyze seismic hazard and risk in Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan,. , area from 500-year intensity observations, and to provide the basic parameters or intensities for seismic design and other mitigation considerations. First, we digitized the intensity observations (maps) using ArcGIS with a cell size of 0.1 degree × 0.1 degree. Second, we performed a statistical analysis on the digitized intensity data and derived intensity-frequency relationship (hazard curve) for each cell. Finally, we estimated seismic risk in terms of a probability that intensity exceeds VII, VIII, or IX in a certain periods (i. e., 50years) based on the assumption of a Poisson distribution for earthquake occurrence. We also estimated the corresponding intensity with 10 percent probability of exceedance in 50 years. The results shows that the area has high seismic risk and the current design requirement for the area may be not adequate.


Xie F.,China Earthquake Administration | Wang Z.,Kentucky Geological Survey | Liu J.,China Earthquake Administration
Pure and Applied Geophysics | Year: 2011

Seismic hazard and risk in the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan, China, area were estimated from 500-year intensity observations. First, we digitized the intensity observations (maps) using ArcGIS with a cell size of 0.1 × 0.1°. Second, we performed a statistical analysis on the digitized intensity data, determined an average b value (0.39), and derived the intensity-frequency relationship (hazard curve) for each cell. Finally, based on a Poisson model for earthquake occurrence, we calculated seismic risk in terms of a probability of I ≥ 7, 8, or 9 in 50 years. We also calculated the corresponding 10 percent probability of exceedance of these intensities in 50 years. The advantages of assessing seismic hazard and risk from intensity records are that (1) fewer assumptions (i. e., earthquake source and ground motion attenuation) are made, and (2) site-effect is included. Our study shows that the area has high seismic hazard and risk. Our study also suggests that current design peak ground acceleration or intensity for the area may not be adequate. © 2010 BirkhÄuser / Springer Basel AG.


Nelson W.J.,Illinois State Geological Survey | Elrick S.,Illinois State Geological Survey | Williams D.A.,Kentucky Geological Survey
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2013

Two small, down-faulted outliers of latest Pennsylvanian to Early Permian rocks occur in western Kentucky. These are the youngest Paleozoic rocks in the Illinois basin and are approximately 550 and 750. km, respectively, from strata of comparable age in the Dunkard basin and Midcontinent. A continuous core, Gil 30, was drilled in the eastern (Cap Mauzy) outlier. Fusulinids (Leptotriticies beardi) from a depth of 59.4. m were originally used as evidence for Permian age, although this species is now considered to be latest Pennsylvanian. Ostracods from above the fusulinids support a Permian age. The upper 103.6. m of Gil 30 is assigned to the Mauzy Formation and contains intervals of bedded, micritic, nodular to brecciated limestone of probable lacustrine origin, alternating with marine to brackish-water clastic intervals that tend to coarsen upward, a single upward-fining sandstone interval, and a single 2. cm thick coal layer. Older strata contain much more coal and almost no bedded non-marine limestone. The Grove Center graben, 18. km west of Gil 30, is identified on the basis of an oil-test hole electric log and coal test holes. No core samples are available, but log comparison indicates that the Grove Center outlier contains at least an additional 67. m of younger strata than Gil 30, and is a prime target for further study.Regional coalification and oil-maturation trends, along with lack of evidence for syndepositional tectonic activity in Gil 30, indicate that the Permian rocks preserved in Gil 30, and by extension the Grove Center graben, are likely representative of strata that once occupied much of the Illinois basin, probably in continuity with the Midcontinent. The Kentucky outliers, therefore, provide a link between the Midcontinent and Dunkard basins and may be important in addressing long-standing problems, such as the age of the Dunkard, and paleoclimate reconstructions. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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