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Diagenetic Classification Model for Coal: Applications of Taphonomic and Carbonate Models

M. J. Andrejko, S. B. Upchurch, A. D. Cohen

The factors affecting the preservation of the biotic record produced in modern coal-forming environments are similar to those affecting materials produced in carbonate environments. Both records are highly dependent on the paleoecology of their respective depositional environments and are highly susceptible to the various taphonomic processes active before, during, and after final burial. In addition, the prevalent processes of modification and destruction appear to act at specific stages in the history of the biogenic materials. A process-response model was developed to organize more adequately the various chemical, mechanical, and biological processes that could modify or affect the incorporation, production, preservation, or transformation of photoclasts, macerals, and associated mineral matter during coalification. The proposed model is a synthesis and modification of the stages or phases in coal diagenesis.

This proposed process-response diagenetic model for coal encompasses three distinct stages: (1) syngenetic, which encompasses the organic production and accumulation stages; (2) syndiagenetic, which encompasses the postburial to prelignite stages; and (3) epigenetic, which encompasses the postlignite stage of coalification.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.