bituminous coal - teaching hand/display specimen of a high grade bituminous coal from Salina Canyon, Utah
This coal is at the anthracite-bituminous boundary. It has the highest BTU energy output in the spectrum of bituminous coals. Slightly greater metamorphism would have produced anthracite which is dense, has a hard shiny surface and a conchoidal fracture. Bituminous coal is classified as sedimentary, though some may have come close to being buried deeply enough to slightly metamorphose the plant material.
Bituminous coal mainly originated in the Triassic, 205 - 245 million years ago. Western U.S. lignite and pre-lignite coals are primarily Cretaceous, 70 - 140 million years in age. Pennsylvania anthracite is older, forming during the Pennsylvanian Epoch or "Upper Carboniferous," from 298 to 318 million years ago.
Upper Cretaceous in age, this is from the Blackhawk formation in Salina Canyon, Utah. One of Utah's largest coal mines, the Sufco Mine, is currently mining bituminous coal in Mud Spring Hollow. These specimens came from one of the five smaller Salina Canyon mines that operated until 1953.
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