Effect of maceral subtypes and mineral matrix on measured reflectance of subbituminous coals and dispersed organic matter

Fariborz Goodarzi, Thomas Gentzis, Shimon Feinstein, Lloyd Snowdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The variability in reflectance of huminite (texto-ulminite, eu-ulminite A and B, different types of corpohuminite) and liptinite groups of macerals in subbituminous coals was examined using reflected light microscopy. All macerals were selected from coal and interbedded carbonaceous shale and carbonate sediment samples from the 515-m-thick coal deposit No. 2 located in the Hat Creek valley of south-central British Columbia. The measurements obtained reveal that, in addition to burial depth, reflectance distribution depends on maceral subtypes and associated mineral matrix. Huminite in the coals and sediments (kerogen) consists mainly of humotelinite, with eu-ulminite B being the dominant maceral sub-type. Reflectance values determined on huminite in coals and Type IIIb kerogen increase from eu-ulminite A and phlobaphinite type 1 through eu-ulminite B and phlobaphinite type 2 to gelinite. The reflectance of all five huminite maceral subtypes studied increases with depth. However, the increase of phlobaphinite type 1 and gelinite reflectance with depth is irregular. A comparison of the reflectance values obtained for the same maceral subtype (eu-ulminite B) from the interbedded coal, shale and carbonate samples records consistent differences, implying some dependence of the reflectance (and perhaps rate of organic maturation) on the mineral matrix. Generally, the highest eu-ulminite B reflectance was recorded from carbonate rocks and the lowest from shale, whereas coal matrix produced intermediate values. At present, it is not known whether differences in reflectance of eu-ulminite found in the above lithologies are due to differential retention, efficiency of reaction products removal, thermal conductivity of the lithologies, or existence of a calcium carbonate catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-398
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of maceral subtypes and mineral matrix on measured reflectance of subbituminous coals and dispersed organic matter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this