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Coal Resource Classification System of the U.S. Geological Survey

By Gordon H. Wood, Jr., Thomas M. Kehn, M. Devereux Carter, and William C. Culbertson



These guidelines were prepared so that coal-resource workers will have logical and uniform procedures to follow. They combine the best features of the procedures used in preparing many previously published estimates of State and national coal resources with additions and modifications from numerous conferences with experienced coal resource estimators.

These guidelines are aimed at producing a uniformity of procedures so that coal-resource estimates prepared by various individuals and groups can be compared and (or) combined into meaningful totals for a quadrangle, township and range, coal field, basin, region, province, county, state, nation, continent, and (or) the world.

Some statements in the guidelines obviously are not rigidly applicable to all coal beds or coal-bearing areas. Where such shortcomings are perceived, a logical procedure is to develop new guidelines to effect appropriate changes in methodology so that they can be studied, criticized, and accepted or rejected by others.

The following statements are to be strictly adhered to by all coal resource specialists in the U.S. Geological Survey: (1) All tables of coal resource or reserve estimates must contain a date and appropriate authorship information; and (2) each table of coal resource or reserve estimates must show where supporting basic data were located at the time of estimation.


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