The Pennsylvanian rocks of the Western Kentucky Coal Field produce between 40 and 55 million tons of coal a year from as many as 45 coal seams; however, three seams produce more than 75 percent of the total. In addition, Pennsylvanian strata contain numerous oil and natural gas reservoirs, tar-sand reservoirs, and industrial minerals. Pennsylvanian sandstones are also some of the most important bedrock aquifers in the coal field. Because of the economic importance of the Pennsylvanian strata to the region and the Commonwealth as a whole, a better understanding of these rocks is needed. This description of the nomenclature of Pennsylvanian strata in the Western Kentucky Coal Field also provides information on their mineral resources and geology. New stratigraphic names, based on regional agreements among the state geological surveys of Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, are also presented.

Publication Date



Series XI

Report Number

Bulletin 2

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Included in

Geology Commons