Coal - 3 of 5

Coal FAQs - 5 Found

What is coal?

Coal is a sedimentary rock made predominantly of carbon that can be burned for fuel. Coal is readily combustible, black or brownish-black, and has a composition that, including inherent moisture, consists of more than 50 percent by weight and more than 70 percent by volume of carbonaceous material. It is formed from plant remains that have been compacted, hardened, chemically altered, and metamorphosed by heat and pressure over geologic time.

Coal is found all over the world including our country, predominantly in places where forests and marshes existed prehistorically, before being buried and compressed over millions of years. Some of the largest deposits, though, are located in areas of the Appalachian basin in the eastern U.S., the Illinois basin in the mid-continent region, and throughout the Rocky Mountain basins in the western U.S.

 

Learn More:

USGS Energy Resources Program: Coal

Coal – A Complex Natural Resource

The National Coal Resource Assessment Overview

Tags: Energy, Mining, Geologic Time, Coal