Abstract

The National Coal Mining Museum in West Yorkshire affords a rare opportunity for the public to visit a former colliery (Caphouse) and experience at first hand the geology of a mine. The geology at the museum can be seen via the public tour, limited surface outcrop and an inclined ventilation drift, which provides the best geological exposure and information. The strata encountered at the site are c. 100 m thick and are of latest Langsettian (Pennsylvanian) age. The ventilation drift intersects several coal seams (Flockton Thick, Flockton Thin, Old Hards, Green Lane and New Hards) and their associated roof rocks and seatearths. In addition to exposures of bedrock, recent mineral precipitates of calcium carbonates, manganese carbonates and oxides, and iron oxyhydroxides can be observed along the drift, and there is a surface exposure of Flockton Thick Coal and overlying roof strata. The coals and interbedded strata were deposited in the Pennine Basin in a fluvio-lacustrine setting in an embayment distant from the open ocean with limited marine influence. A lacustrine origin for mudstone roof rocks of several of the seams is supported by the incidence of non-marine bivalves and fossilized fish remains whilst the upper part of the Flockton Thick Coal consists of subaqueously deposited cannel coal. The mudstones overlying the Flockton Thick containing abundant non-marine bivalves are of great lateral extent, indicating a basin-wide rise of base level following coal deposition that may be compared with a non-marine flooding surface.

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