bituminous coal close to anthracite - Sufco Mine, Sevier County, Utah - teaching hand specimen
This bituminous coal is close to anthracite and is fairly dense for bituminous coal. 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 from the Sufco Mine in East Spring Canyon. It is Upper Cretaceous in age, from the Upper Hiawatha seam of the Blackhawk Formation. The coal is shipped by truck to two Union Pacific Railroad coal loadouts in trucks that consist of a tractor and two trailers carrying a total of 38 tons. The mine can load two trucks simultaneously, at one minute per truck.
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