Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments and Coalbed Methane Resources of Cherokee Group Coals (Middle Pennsylvanian)--Southeastern Kansas

Kansas Geological Survey
Open-file Report 2003-28

Location map of Elk, Wilson, Neosho, Crawford, Chautauqua, Montgomery, Labette, and Cherokee counties in relation to major structural features.

Stratigraphic column of Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) strata in the study area.

Geologic Background

The Cherokee basin is located on the western flank of the Ozark dome, which is part of the northward extension of the elongated Oklahoma platform (Moore, 1979). The Cherokee basin is bounded by the Bourbon arch to the north, the Nemaha uplift to the west, and the Ozark dome to the east. Cherokee Group rocks gradually thicken to the south into the deeper Arkoma basin (Ham and Wilson, 1967;).

During the early to mid-Desmoinesian the Cherokee basin was influenced by the orogenic activity of the convergent Ouachita system in present-day southeastern Oklahoma (Ham and Wilson, 1967). Deposition of the Cherokee Group occurred while the area was part of the slowly subsiding, intracratonic basin (Staton, 1987). Sediment of the Cherokee Group was deposited disconformably upon the karst surface of the Mississippian limestone in southeastern Kansas and adjacent areas (Saueraker, 1966).

Depositional Environments

Depositional environments of many coals are not necessarily directly related to the environments of the overlying or underlying sediments due to significant hiatus in deposition (McCabe, 1984). Depositional environments of coals are reflected by their geometry, average thickness, areal extent, orientation, ash content, and sulfur content. However, to better understand variations in coal quality, thickness, and lateral extent of coals within a sequence stratigraphic framework, depositional environments of overlying and underlying sediments must be identified.

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Last updated May 2003