Evaluation of structured coal evolution and distribution by geophysical logging methods in the Gujiao Block, northwest Qinshui basin, China

Yingjin Wang, Dameng Liu*, Yidong Cai, Yanbin Yao, Yingfang Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Structured coal is characterized by tectonically caused features (e.g. a cataclastic or mylonitic structure with small particle sizes), which is crucial for coal exploitation and coalbed methane (CBM) development. To quantitatively identify high-resolution coal structures, a destruction F-Index that determined through multiple geophysical logging with principal component analysis (PCA), was proposed to divide coal structure into five types: I-undeformed, II-transitional, III-cataclastic, IV-granulated and V-mylonitized coals. The undamaged coals (including types I and II) that dominate the target area are normally concentrated in low-angle and gentle strata, while the structured coals (including types III, IV and V) are only distributed along syncline axial parts and fault zones. Furthermore, a deformation D-Index, to quantify the coal deformation degree in single well, was set from 1 to 5, which indicates that the larger the number is, the higher the degree is. The results showed that a negative relation between parting (normally shales or mudstones) content and D-Index, which suggests that the parting provides the resistance for coal seam deformation. Furthermore, coal deformation degree increases with the burial depth and thickness of coal seam. From the Hercynian orogeny to Himalayan orogeny, coal seams of the research area have experienced three phases of deformation. Most structured coals that distribute along syncline axial parts and fault zones formed during this process, and the undamaged coals are distributed in the internals of extensional tectonic belts (e.g. graben and horst). In addition, for a local area, the regional tectonic styles may also determine the structured coal distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-222
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Early online date13 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Fund (grant nos. 41602170 and 41711530129), the Research Program for Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor of Beijing (grant No. YB20101141501), the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities (Grant no. 35832015136) and Key Project of Coal-based Science and Technology in Shanxi Province-CBM accumulation model and reservoir evaluation in Shanxi province (grant no. MQ2014-01).


  • Coal structure
  • Geophysical logging
  • Novel methodology
  • Quantitative evaluation


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