Year of Publication

2003

Document Type

Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geology

First Advisor

Gerald A. Weisenfluh

Second Advisor

William A. Thomas

Abstract

Paleochannels are a major cause of roof failure in underground coal mines in southeastern Kentucky. Models that predict the location and geometry of paleochannels are essential to assist in mine planning and development. Data from approximately 506 coal exploration drill holes were subjected to second-order trend-surface analysis to identify stacking or offsetting relationships between sandstone bodies in adjacent stratigraphic intervals. The stacking of sandstone bodies within adjacent intervals suggests the presence of synsedimentary faulting. This model suggests that continued movement along the faults created topographic lows attracted paleodrainages and accommodated thick accumulations of sandstone in approximately the same areas through time. Trend-surface residuals analysis successfully located areas of potential synsedimentary faulting within the study area. An additional 7,189 elevation data points for the top of the Newman Limestone, interpreted from oil and gas records, were utilized to locate sub-Pennsylvanian System faults within the study area. The correlation between faults associated with the coal measures identified using second-order trend-surface analysis and faults affecting the Newman Limestone suggests Pennsylvanian synsedimentary faults were preceded by older Paleozoic fault movement. The greater availability of oil and gas subsurface data makes this relationship an important tool for predicting locations of fault-controlled coal measure paleochannels.

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