bituminous coal close to anthracite - Salina Canyon, Utah - student specimens UNIT OF 5 SPECIMENS
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This bituminous coal is close to anthracite. It is highly prized for burning with very little ash. It has the hard shiny surface of anthracite, but not the conchoidal fracture. Coal forms from the burial of accumulated plant material, in a series with increasing compaction from peak to lignite to bituminous coal and then anthracite. The first three are considered sedimentary. Anthracite is metamorphic as it has undergone low-grade metamorphism, burns hotter than other coals and with a clean blue flame.
The name anthracite was derived from the Greek word anthrax, the name given to it by the philosopher Theophrastus, a pupil of Aristotle. Bituminous coal was named under the mistaken impression that it contained bitumen, a group of hydrocarbons including tar and asphalt.
This coal is Upper Cretaceous in age, from the Blackhawk Formation in Salina Canyon, Utah. It is from one of the small mines long inactive.
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