Selenium Distributions in Kanawha Formation Rocks from Boone County, West
Dorothy J. Vesper
West Virginia University
Selenium concentrations were measured in rock cores from Boone County, West Virginia. The
samples spanned the Winifrede and Coalburg coal beds of the Middle Pennsylvania upper
Kanawha Formation and included coals and clastic lithologies. The coals generally contained the
highest concentrations of Se and the sandstones the lowest. No correlation was observed
between total Se and sulfur concentrations for either the entire data set or for individual
lithologies. Better correlations were identified for log concentrations between total Se and total
organic carbon. Principal component analysis identified a strong sulfur-acid component,
interpreted to be due to sulfide mineral presence, which correlates well with S but not with Se.
Se concentrations load onto both components indicating they are not controlled by a single
overriding chemistry. Overall, the lack of correlation between Se and S, the distribution of Se
among extracted fractions, and the loading of Se onto both principle components support that the
Se in these rock layers is distributed in more than one chemically-bound form. Non-coal rock
units with the highest concentrations of Se were found adjacent to coal beds, suggesting that
redistribution of Se may have occurred post-deposition.
Full details of study provided in:
Vesper DJ, Roy M, Rhoads CL (2008) Selenium distribution and mode of occurrence in the
Kanawha Formation, southern West Virginia, U.S.A. International Journal of Coal
Geology 73, 237-249.