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Open-File Report 2010–1114

Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office Reservoir Management Group

Megascopic Lithologic Studies of Coals in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and in Adjacent Basins in Wyoming and North Dakota

By Michael H. Trippi, Gary D. Stricker, Romeo M. Flores, Ronald W. Stanton, Lora A. Chiehowsky, and Timothy A. Moore

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Between 1999 and 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigated coalbed methane (CBM) resources in the Wyoming portion of the Powder River Basin. The study also included the CBM resources in the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin of North Dakota and the Wyoming portion of the Green River Basin of Wyoming. This project involved the cooperation of the State Office, Reservoir Management Group (RMG) of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Casper, Wyo., and 16 independent gas operators in the Powder River, Williston, and Green River Basins. The USGS and BLM entered into agreements with these CBM operators to supply samples for the USGS to analyze and provide the RMG with rapid, timely results of total gas desorbed, coal quality, and high-pressure methane adsorption isotherm data. This program resulted in the collection of 963 cored coal samples from 37 core holes. This report presents megascopic lithologic descriptive data collected from canister samples extracted from the 37 wells cored for this project.

First posted September 2010

For additional information, please contact:

Michael H. Trippi
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 956
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:
Trippi, M.H., Stricker, G.D., Flores, R.M., Stanton, R.W., Chiehowsky, L.A., and Moore, T.A., 2010, Megascopic lithologic studies of coals in the Powder River basin in Wyoming and in adjacent basins in Wyoming and North Dakota: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1114, 197 p., available at

Table of Contents


General Geology

Collection and Analyses of New Data


Discussion of Data and Results



References Cited

Appendix 1. Tables of Lithologic Data for Samples From 32 Cores

Appendix 2. Graphs of Total Gas With Average Attrital Band Thickness, Cleat Frequency, Cumulative Fusain Thickness, Lithotype Code, and Average Vitrain Band Thickness, Against Core Cumulative Measured Thickness for All Cores

Appendix 3. Graphs of Total Gas Against Canister Average Vitrain Percentage, Canister Average Attrital Percentage, Canister Average Cleat Frequency for Data From All Cores

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