Coal texture is important for predicting coal seam permeability and selecting favorable blocks for coalbed methane (CBM) exploration. Drilled cores and mining seam observations are the most direct and effective methods of identifying coal texture; however, they are expensive and cannot be used in unexplored coal seams. Geophysical logging has become a common method of coal texture identification, particularly during the CBM mining stage. However, quantitative methods for identifying coal texture based on geophysical logging data require further study. The support vector machine (SVM), a machine-learning method, has received great interest due to its remarkable generalization performance, and it has been used to quantitatively identify hard and soft coal using geophysical logging data. In this study, four well-logging curves, the acoustic time difference (AC), caliper log (CAL), density (DEN), and natural gamma (GR), were used for coal texture analysis. Hard coal (undeformed and cataclastic coal) exhibited higher DEN, GR, lower CAL, and lower AC than soft coal. The accuracy rate of coal texture identification was highest (97%) when the linear kernel function was applied, and the maximum training accuracy rate was achieved when the penalty parameter value of the linear kernel increased to 1. The results of verification with a newly cored CBM exploration well indicated that the SVM-based identification method was effective for coal texture analysis. With the increasing availability of data, this method can be used to distinguish hard and soft coal in a coal-bearing basin under numerous sample learning conditions.

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