Q:

In which type of depositional environment is coal formed?

A:

Coal is formed in a swampy depositional environment that includes the remains of trees and shrubs. This swampy environment is able to bury plant life quickly before it rots. Once buried, the plant life is heated and compressed to form coal.

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Though produced from plant life buried in the Earth for millions of years, coal plays an important role in providing the energy used by modern people. Knowing the depositional environment of coal allows geologists to search for the fossil fuel in areas where the rock layer contains those deposits. Understanding the forming process makes mining coal much more efficient.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does coal form?

    A:

    Coal forms from the physical and chemical alteration of organic peat moss. This process, called coalification, takes hundreds of years to complete. During coalification, peat moss undergoes a series of transformations as a result of bacterial decay, compaction, variations in temperature and time.

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  • Q:

    How is coal extracted?

    A:

    The two main methods used for coal extraction are surface mining and underground mining. The methods used to extract coal depend on the geology of the coal deposits. According to Energy Trends Insider, the amount of coal produced by one miner in one hour has more than tripled since 1978 because of improvements in mining technology and the growth in surface mining.

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    Where do we get coal?

    A:

    Coal is located in seams within the earth and is brought to the surface by a process known as mining. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there are around 257 billion recoverable short tons of coal in the U.S. as of 2014.

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  • Q:

    What are ways to conserve coal?

    A:

    Since coal is usually burned to generate electricity for homes, it can be conserved by using energy-efficient bulbs for lighting and by conserving the energy consumed by house heaters and air conditioners. Similarly, insulating walls and cables conserves power, consequently conserving the amount of coal used.

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