Kansas Geological Survey, Current Research in Earth Sciences, Bulletin 240,
Chert Gravel and Neogene Drainage in East-central Kansas--page 3 of 16
Stratigraphic Distribution of Kansas Coals
A generalized stratigraphic distribution of the bituminous coals in Kansas is shown in fig. 1, whereas areal distribution of the strippable Pennsylvanian coals by group is shown in fig. 2. The general distribution of Pennsylvanian coal in Kansas relative to the coal areas of the western and the eastern regions of the Interior Coal Province is shown in fig. 3. Coal from the Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Cherokee Group (including the nine coals sampled for this study plus the Weir-Pittsburg and Fleming coals) represents 90% of the historical production in Kansas. Stratigraphic descriptions of the important coal beds in the Cherokee Group are to be found in Pierce and Courtier (1938), Howe (1956), and Brady et al. (1976). Past production from the Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Marmaton Group (Mulberry coal) represents about 5% of the state's production, and coals in the Upper Pennsylvanian (Virgilian) Wabaunsee Group (mainly the Nodaway coal) account for nearly 4%. Production from the Upper Pennsylvanian (Missourian) Kansas City Group (mainly Thayer coal), the Upper Pennsylvanian (Virgilian) Douglas Group (mainly Williamsburg coals), and the Early Cretaceous lignites of the Dakota Formation together represent less than 1% of cumulative Kansas coal production.
Fig. 1. Stratigraphic position of coal beds discussed in this report (column modified from Zeller, 1968).
Fig. 2. Location of coal samples used in this study (location description and coal-bed details are listed in table 1), and the general distribution of strippable coal resources by geologic group for coals under 30 m (100 ft) of overburden or less. Map is modified from Brady et al. (1976).
Fig. 3. Location of western and eastern regions of the Interior Coal Province as discussed in the report. Map is modified from Wood and Bour (1988).
Brady et al. (1976) estimated strippable coal resources of 2.8 billion tons in 17 different Middle and Upper Pennsylvanian coals; Brady and Livingston (1989) and Brady (1990) estimated deep coal resources (30 m, 100 ft) in Kansas to be at least 50 billion tons in 32 coal beds. The present study includes samples from nine coal beds with significant strippable resources. These coals include the Rowe, Dry Wood, Mineral, Croweburg, Bevier, Mulky, Thayer, Upper Williamsburg, and an unnamed but extensively mined coal that is present a short distance beneath the Rowe coal.
Kansas Geological Survey
Web version March 18, 1998