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Although the lithotype terms introduced by Stopes were not intended to have any compositional implications, some early descriptions of the petrographic contents of lithotypes have resulted in less than universal adherence to this nomenclature following its adoption by the International Committee for Coal Petrology. Alternative descriptive systems have been developed for use with Australian coals, many of which have very low exinite contents. The recognition of a midlustrous attrital coal lithotype has proved useful because such layers can be characterized by relatively high vitrinite contents and swelling indices. An advantage of terms such as “bright coal” and “dull coal” is that they can be used to describe the overall appearance of layers on as broad a scale as is convenient for the user.
coal, nomenclature, petrography, lithology
Assistant Director, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.