In a continuing effort to enhance the availability and value of geologic information produced Geology and Mineral Resources, a digital version of the Virginia Coal Quality Database, Open File Report 08-04, has been updated and formatted as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.  This digital data set contains the extensive tabulated data that was earlier published in Publication 122, “Coal Sample Analyses from the Southwest Virginia Coalfield”.

Continental Shelf Sand Resources

Publication 122 was released in 1992 in hard copy format, and provided the results of laboratory analysis for 375 coal samples collected as part of a cooperative sampling program between Geology and Mineral Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The samples were collected by our staff during the period from 1975 to 1988 from a six county area in the Southwest Virginia Coalfield. A total of 38 coal beds are represented in the sampling program. The results of laboratory analysis for each sample were entered into the USGS Coal Quality database (COALQUAL), which is a component of the National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS).

As part of the current effort, Geology and Mineral Resources obtained the complete Virginia coal data set stored in COALQUAL, which includes some parameters that were not originally reported in Publication 122. The data set includes geologic, location, and coal sample information, along with the results of 105 laboratory analytical parameters. These include proximate and ultimate analyses, heat content, key physical properties, sulfur content and forms of sulfur, ash fusion temperatures, major and minor oxides, major and minor elements, and trace elements. The data records obtained from COALQUAL were carefully cross checked with Publication 122, verified for accuracy, and checked for conformance with the current stratigraphic nomenclature used in the Southwest Virginia Coalfield. The records have been sorted by coal bed and sample identification number, and presented in stratigraphic order from oldest to youngest.

While the USGS COALQUAL database contains additional records for samples collected in the Southwest Virginia Coalfield region, these samples were not collected by our staff, and have not been verified for accuracy.

The purpose of this Open File Report is to provide the following value-added updates:

  • Improved data organization and presentation that first sorts the coal samples on broad geologic and location parameters (coal province, coal region, geologic system, geologic series, state, coalfield); and then by coal bed (in correct stratigraphic order) along with geologic formation, rank, and point identification number.
  • Improved data formatting that supports contemporary digital data delivery and distribution, custom searches of the database, and statistical comparison of analytical parameters.
  • Latitude and longitude location data has been converted from degree / minutes / seconds to decimal degrees to support GIS applications.
  • Ash Fusion Temperatures (Initial Deformation, Softening, and Fluid) have been converted from degrees Celsius, as used in VDMR Publication 122, to degrees Fahrenheit to be compatible with USGS data.
  • Where data is missing or incomplete in COALQUAL, verified values was entered manually to preserve the format of Publication 122.


Wilkes, G. P., Bragg, L. J., Hostettler, K. K., Oman, C. L., and Coleman, S. L., 1992, Coal Sample Analyses from the Southwest Virginia Coalfield:  DMR Publication 122, 431 p.