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A review of Alabama lignite deposits

January 1, 2011

This review of Alabama lignite deposits is a part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Coal Resource Assessment (NCRA) of the Gulf Coast region (see Ruppert et al., 2002; Dennen, 2009; and other chapters of this publication). Because lignite is not currently mined in Alabama, a detailed assessment of the state was not made, and only a review is presented in this chapter.

Lignite beds are found in several stratigraphic horizons within the Paleocene Midway and Paleocene to Eocene Wilcox Groups in the Gulf Coastal Plain of Alabama (Figure 1). There are three main near-surface (less than 250 ft of overburden) lignite deposits in Alabama. In the Midway Group, the Oak Hill lignite deposit occurs in the upper part of the Oak Hill Member of the Naheola Formation (Figure 2). In the Wilcox Group, the Gravel Creek and the Tuscahoma lignite deposits occur in the Coal Bluff Marl Member of the Nanafalia Formation and the Tuscahoma Sand Member of the Tuscahoma Sand Formation, respectively (Figure 2). The Gravel Creek lignite occurs in central and eastern Alabama, and the Oak Hill and Tuscahoma Sand lignites occur in southwest Alabama. Eighty-five percent of this lignite may be recoverable by surface mining methods (Tolson, 1985). The total amount of lignite reported as a reserve by the state is over 4.7 billion short tons (Self et al., 1978).

Publication Year 2011
Title A review of Alabama lignite deposits
Authors Claire E. Aubourg
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title AAPG Studies in Geology
Index ID 70192758
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center