The hypothesis that regional variation of sulfur in coal beds is related to the influence of penecontemporaneous marine water is tested by stratigraphic and statistical methods. The Lower Kittanning coal exhibits regional variations in sulfur content which are statistically related to the regional changes in overburden, areas of marine overburden being higher in sulfur than continental areas. The Upper Freeport coal, overlain entirely by continental beds, shows no regional sulfur variation. The conclusion is made that the presence or absence of marine waters was one of the factors controlling regional variation of sulfur in coal.

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