Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker


  • Laurance DonnellyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_55


Coal is a brownish-black to black, combustible, naturally occurring sedimentary rock formed from fossilized plants and vegetable matter consisting of amorphous carbon with organic and inorganic compounds.


Coal occurs in seams in series of alternating sedimentary sequences known as cyclothems. Coal deposits occur in sedimentary basins around the world from Devonian to Quaternary in age. Coal is used to generate electricity (thermal or steam coal) or to produce iron and steel (coking coal) (Fig. 1).
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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ManchesterUK