Use of optical axis of vitrinite as an indicator of paragenetic relationship of coalification and tectonic framework

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Authors:Ting, Francis T. C.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
W.Va. Univ., Dep. Geol. and Geogr., Morgantown, WV, United States
Volume Title:Proceedings of the Geological Society of China
Source:Proceedings of the Geological Society of China, Vol.28, p.186-190. Publisher: Chung Kuo Ti Chih Hseuh Hui, Taipei, Taiwan. ISSN: 0431-2155
Publication Date:1985
Note:In English. 6 refs.; 1 table, geol. sketch map
Summary:As commonly used, coal rank dictates the properties and ultimately the use of the coal. As rank increases, the condensed ring structures of organic material become arranged in a progressively more orderly fashion with increased T and P. The mixture of organic compounds gradually became optically anisotropic, readily measurable in reflected light with a photometer. Laboratory and field studies show that organic material (vitrinite) can vary in both anisotropy and attitude of the optic axis, postulated as the result not only of increased thermal gradient in the Earth's crust, but also of the load and lateral stresses derived from deep burial and lateral tectonic activities. The orientation of the optic axis of vitrinite is postulated to coincide with the maximum compressive stress at the time of maximum coalification or thermal maturation. Any further modification of the attitude of the axis without an accompanying increase of rank will provide a clue to the paragenetic relationship of thermal maturation and tectonic structure or deformation. Studies of the E foothill coal fields of the Canadian Rocky Mountains region suggest that the coal beds had attained their present rank before they were intensely folded and faulted. [J.M.H.]
Subjects:Coal; Coal deposits; Coal exploration; Coalification; Diagenesis; Economic geology; Macerals; Mines; Organic compounds; Petroleum; Petroleum exploration; Processes; Rank; Sedimentary rocks; Structural geology; Tectonics; Thermal maturity; Vitrinite; Alberta; British Columbia; Canada; Western Canada; Kerogens; Optical axis; Organic materials; Organic residues; Southeastern British Columbia; Southwestern Alberta
Abstract Numbers:86M/3882
Record ID:1986029499
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United Kingdom, Twickenham, United Kingdom
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