||The project will begin with identification of available cores containing Pennsylvanian black shale horizons. This activity will be guided by our recent studies of black shales that already sampled 11 locations (Fig. 1) and identified basic characteristics of black shales (Mastalerz et al., 2022). We plan to select approximately 15 cores in addition to those 11 already analyzed. Core selection will take into account stratigraphic distribution, so that black shales of both Carbondale and Raccoon Creek Groups will be well represented. In total, we plan to collect about 300 samples of black shales. The number of samples from individual black shale horizons will depend on the shale thickness. In addition to shales, associated lithologies may also be sampled for comparative purposes. We plan to begin sampling in March 2023, after careful selection and analysis of the available cores.
We will analyze all samples by pXRF before sending them to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for detailed analysis. These analyses will be compared to the previously obtained pXRF data on black shales from other locations (Mastalerz et al., 2019; Mastalerz et al., 2020; Mastalerz et al., 2022). Splits of all samples will be retained at the IGWS for in-house analysis including but not limited to carbon sulfur and vitrinite reflectance.
Mastalerz, M., Cortland, E., Drobniak, A. Ames, P.R., and McLaughlin, P., 2020, Rare earth elements and yttrium in Pennsylvanian coals and shales in the eastern part of the Illinois Basin, International Journal of Coal Geology 231, 103620. doi: 10.1016/j.coal.2020.103620
Mastalerz, M., Drobniak, A., and Ames, P., 2022, Organic-matter-rich Pennsylvanian black shales as a source of critical minerals: Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Indiana Journal of Earth Sciences v. 4. doi:10.14434/ijes.v4i1.34421
Mastalerz, M., Drobniak, A., Ames, P., and McLaughlin, P.I., 2019, Application of pXRF elemental analysis in Pennsylvanian coal-bearing strata—an example from the Indiana part of the Illinois Basin: International Journal of Coal Geology 216, 103342. doi: 10.1016/j.coal.2019.103342