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Palynology can be effectively used in coal systems analysis to understand the nature of ancient coal-forming peat mires. Pollen and spores preserved in coal effectively reveal the floristic composition of mires, which differed substantially through geologic time, and contribute to determination of depositional environment and paleo-climate. Such applications are most effective when integrated with paleobotanical and coal-petrographic data. Examples of previous studies of Miocene, Carboniferous, and Paleogene coal beds illustrate the methods and results. Palynological age determinations and correlations of deposits are also important in coal systems analysis to establish stratigraphic setting. Application to studies of coalbed methane generation shows potential because certain kinds of pollen are associated with gas-prone lithotypes.

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