The Coal Geology Group of the Alberta Geological Survey is beginning studies on the variation in coal quality and the development of models to predict coal quality throughout the province. This work is part of a three-year contract funded by the Alberta Department of Energy and the Alberta Research Council, which continues through March 1989. A status report and workplan (McCabe et al., 1987) outlines four projects undertaken by the Coal Geology group. The projects are interrelated and together will lead to a synthesis of coal quality in the plains.
Project one of the status report and workplan deals with the quality of the Ardley coal zone and the Drumheller coal zone (lower Horseshoe Canyon Formation) in the plains region. For the study of the Ardley coal zone, the Highvale area was selected because of the high level of geologic confidence in the available data and the abundance of coal quality information.
The variation in quality between seams as well as the lateral variation of individual seams are investigated. We hope that predictive models and statistical techniques developed in this study can be applied to further studies in other selected areas. We also hope that this work will serve as a base and means of comparison for the regional assessment of the coal quality of the Ardley coal zone planned in the second phase.