The Herrin coal bed (W. Ky. No. 11) is one of the most important coal resources in the Illinois Basin. To 2009, the Herrin coal had an estimated 10 million tons of production in Kentucky, and remained the second largest producer in the Western Kentucky Coal Field. The Herrin is known for its regionally extensive "blue band" rock parting, and, in Kentucky, its close association with the overlying Providence Limestone Member and Paradise coal (W. Ky. No. 11) (see, for example, Greb and others, 1992). To fact, the Herrin and Paradise coal beds were so closely spaced in some areas along the southern margin of the basin that they were mined together. Like most coals in western Kentucky, the Herrin is a medium-sulfur product. Because of relatively lower mining costs compared to Appalachian coals, the Herrin coal is increasingly in demand for electric power plants with sulfur-reduction capability. Scrubbed power plants can use higher-sulfur coals for fuel because the scrubbers remove almost all of the sulfur dioxide produced by combustion of sulfur compounds in the coal from the emission stream. This recent demand has resulted in a significant increase in western Kentucky coal production since 2003, all of which is supplied by mining of the Herrin and Springfield coal beds.
Map and Chart 198
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Weisenfluh, Gerald A., "Remaining Resources of the Herrin Coal" (2011). Kentucky Geological Survey Map and Chart. 198.