NEW PAPER: Recognition of peat depositional environments: A review

It is already the most downloaded paper for the International Journal of Coal Geology*. No wonder – a fundamental attribute of any rock is knowing how it gets there. Sure, coal comes from peat, but it is those small changes in peat type that result in large differences in coal type and those differences result in a wide range of properties. Dai et al., screen shot

It is not just about how coal might behave that requires us to know the environment under which a peat would have formed. Coal can provide a high-resolution record of palaeoecology and palaeoclimate within a palaeomire. Although the plant assemblage may be specific to the peat-forming environment, variation driven by climate will have regional significance.


Such a wide-ranging paper needs a wide-ranging authorship. The fourteen authors hail from four countries: China, USA, Australia and Germany. Considering only a few people ever get to wander into a peat bog, this paper should allow a virtual tour.

Plants, to peat, to coal. Figure 5 in Dai et al., 2020 (from a Steve Greb drawing)

Plants, to peat, to coal. Figure 5 in Dai et al., 2020 (from a Steve Greb drawing)

* Dai, S., Bechtel, A., Eble, C.F., Flores, R.M., French, D., Graham, I.T., Hood, M.M., Hower, J.C., Korasidis, V.A., Moore, T.A., Püttmann, W., O’Keefe, J.M.K., 2020. Recognition of peat depositional environments in coal: A review, International Journal of Coal Geology, Article 103383,, 67 pp.

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