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Abstract

The lignite deposits within the upper Eocene Yegua Formation (Claiborne Group) and the overlying Jackson Group are among the coal resources that were not quantitatively assessed as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Coal Resource Assessment (NCRA) program in the Gulf Coastal Plain coal province. In the past, these lignite-bearing stratigraphic units often have been evaluated together because of their geographic and stratigraphic proximity (Fisher, 1963; Kaiser, 1974; Kaiser et al., 1980; Jackson and Garner, 1982; Kaiser, 1996) (Figures 1, 2). The term “Yegua-Jackson trend“ is used informally herein for the lignite-bearing outcrops of these Late Eocene deposits in Texas. Lignite beds in the Yegua-Jackson trend generally are higher both in ash yield and sulfur content than those of the underlying Wilcox Group (Figure 2). Recent studies (Senkayi et al., 1987; Ruppert et al., 1994; Warwick et al., 1996, 1997) have shown that some lignite beds within the Yegua-Jackson trend contain partings of volcanic ash and host elevated levels of trace elements that have been identified as potentially hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) in the United States Clean Air Amendments of 1990. Lignite beds within the Yegua Formation are thin (less than or equal to 6 ft) and laterally discontinuous in comparison with most Wilcox Group deposits (Ayers, 1989a); in contrast, the Jackson Group lignite beds range up to 12 ft in total thickness and are relatively continuous laterally, extending nearly 32 mi along strike.

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