Paleochannels are sedimentary rock units deposited by ancient streams that transported sediment through the peat mire. As discussed in the section on Coal Depositional Systems, paleochannels constitute the framework facies that bound the mire. The most adverse impact of a paleochannel is their potential to fully erode a coal seam (Picture 1). They also cause adverse roof and highwall conditions in underground and surface mines, respectively. Depositional modeling of the coal deposit, in particular, delineation of the paleodrainage patterns, is important in the design and layout of a coal mine and for optimizing CBM production.
Paleochannels also are termed "channels", "wants" (underground miners in want of coal), "cutouts", "washouts", and "rolls". They are very common in coal-bearing strata and occur in deposits throughout the world (Pictures 2, 3, and 4).
Figures & Tables
This volume of the “Atlas of Coal Geology” provides 393 images on various subject matters related to coal deposits and coal resource utilization. The supporting text provides an introductory overview of coal exploration, mining, and coalbed methane (CBM) development, followed by discussions on various megascopic aspects of coal geology (microscopic aspects are covered in Volume 2). Because of the vast subject matter, many generalities had to be made in the text. References are included to guide those interested to more detailed discussions. All citations within the document are linked to the detailed reference list for this volume. The overriding theme for this publication is that a picture is worth a thousand words.