On the southern flank of the Pocahontas basin, Kentucky, Lower to Middle Pennsylvanian sedimentary rocks contain the coal-bearing strata of eastern McCreary and western Whitley Counties. These strata are divided into two major formations, the Lee and the Breathitt, each composed of quasi-cyclic sequences of sandstones, siltstone, coal, and shale, which have been interpreted as paralic lithogenetic units reflecting depositional environments that periodically intertongued laterally.
Cores from six exploratory drill holes penetrating the formations are described, and analyses of basic lithologies in conjunction with geophysical logs are integrated into detailed stratigraphic columns. Correlation using key beds is established, producing geologic sections and a stratigraphic framework to which the coal beds could be referred for specific correlations. Isopach maps of the major coal seams and a structure contour map of the unconformity at the base of the Corbin sandstone were prepared. A fence diagram incorporating the six core holes illustrates a detailed interpretation of the subsurface stratigraphic record, including depositional sequences, distribution, and thickness of the strata. A brief review of the general geologic history of the coal zones is presented.