Instructor & Contact: Dr. Arthur D. Cohen, Department of Geological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 (Tele: 803-777-4502; Fax: 803-777-6610; firstname.lastname@example.org
Course: Dr. Art Cohen, Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, conducts this seminar on modern coal-forming environments through a series of lectures from Amelia Island, Florida and complementary field demonstrations in nearby Okefenokee Swamp of Georgia. Lectures deal with: 1) classification and composition of macerals; 2) botanical source plants and diagenetic alteration processes; 3) evaluation of coal components as generators of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons; 4) field & lab evidence that liquid HC's can be generated by coals; 5) depositional environments and their influence on locations of H-rich or O-rich deposits; 6) effects of depositional environment on vitrinite reflectance & interpretation of thermal maturation history; 7) origins of mineral matter and sulfur in coals; 8) factors effecting expulsion of liquid and/or gaseous hydrocarbons from coals. Field trips are designed to provide first hand observations of organic sedimentation processes and geologic, hydrologic, & geometric characteristics of peat deposits. Petrographic/botanical facies and premaceral facies composing peat sequences and the origin and distribution of mineral matter in peat deposits are also topics demonstrated in the field. Field stops are augmented by poster displays and freshly taken core materials.
Instructor's Credentials: Dr. Cohen received his Ph.D. in 1968 from the Pennsylvania State University, under the tutelage of Dr. William Spackman, a well known coal petrographer and paleobotanist. His dissertation dealt with the peat sediments of the Everglades-mangrove swamps of South Florida as progenitors of coal macerals and coal beds. He has continued to study various aspects of coal formation for over 25 years and has published over 250 papers, books, and technical reports on this subject. His work has spanned a broad range of topics, from modern depositional environments in several parts of the World, to applied petrographic analyses of the coals of the southern San Juan Basin of New Mexico. Some of his most recent work deals with peat formation in tropical and subtropical environments in the Gulf of Mexico and South Florida with special emphasis on composition of peats and dispersed organics at the confluence of marine carbonate and peat-forming (mangrove) depositional systems. He has also recently been utilizing artificial coalification techniques to investigate changes in macerals during thermal maturation, as well as factors effecting the composition of gaseous (e.g. coal-bed methane) and liquid hydrocarbons expelled by coals during their maturation. Additionally, he has been involved in the development of a method for separation of peats by density-gradient separation and is presently developing an innovative technique for refining and cleaning crushed coal by particle shape separation. In related studies, he has investigated the optimum industrial properties of peats for adsorbing dissolved, gasoline-derived hydrocarbons from ground water contaminated from leaking underground gasoline storage tanks, pipelines, etc. Dr. Cohen draws from his many years of research on modern coal-forming environments as well as his diverse expertise in applied coal/peat petrography for much of this coal-bed methane/source-rock seminar.
Who Should Attend: Geologists, Geochemists, Coal Petrographers, Palynologists, Paleobotanists, Geophysicists, Engineers, or anyone else who might have need to understand coal composition or who might be working on a coal degas or source-rock project.