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All coal was once living matter plants. Most coal was made in the Carboniferous
because the conditions were perfect for the formation of coal with; anaerobic conditions
and slow subsidence. Coal was accumulated from vegetation in swamps, (swamp means
the water is stagnant and therefore anaerobic) this means that the vegetation does not
break down and so peat can accumulate. Coal also forms in deltas.
Example the Everglades in Florida
The rate of organic material exceeds the rate of decay write in exam
Order of Coal formation
1) Peat
(Resistant plant material will
accumulate. As more dead organic
matter and sediment collects on top of
the peat, so the peat layer gets buried
deeper and undergoes compression.
The peat becomes compacted and
hardened, most of the water will be
squeezed out)
2) Lignite
(Lignite still contains recognisable remains of plant matter.
It resembles peat in outward appearance except it is harder.
It is classified as a "soft coal". When burnt it produces pollution)
3) Bituminous coal
(Layers of dull and bright coal, harder than previous types and
is classified with anthracite as a "hard coal".)
4) Anthracite
(Anthracite is the highest ranking if coal. Very hard and bright, and can appear
iridescent. Also quite light because of the high C content)


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