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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 6, Number 6, June 2014, pages 613-624

Relationship of fractures in coal with lithotype and thickness of coal lithotype
Jienan Pan, Haichao Wang, Kai Wang and Qinghe Niu

    The fractures in coal are the main migration and output channels of coalbed methane, directly influencing the permeability of the coal seams. It is of great significance to study the effect of fracture distribution in coals on the permeability of coal seam. The development rules of endogenetic and exogenetic fractures are different among various coal lithotypes. There is also difference in the fracture density for the same lithotype with different thicknesses. Through the observation and description of the macroscopic fractures in coal and the origin of fractures in coal, the effect of the coal lithotype and its thickness on fracture development in coal was discussed. It was found through the study that the density of fractures in vitrain band was the maximum for the same coal rank and thickness, followed by clarain band. There were few fractures developed in the durain band. However, the changes of fracture density in three types of bands presented different declining trends for low, medium and high coal rank. There were no fractures developed in the fusain. There were three variation patterns for the fracture densities at the same coal rank and coal lithotype: linear decrease, nonlinear decrease, and first decrease then remaining unchanged. However, the overall trend was that the fracture density decreased with the increase of thickness of coal band for the same coal rank and coal lithotype.
Key Words
    coal; fracture; cleat; coal lithotype; thickness; fracture density
(1) School of Resources and Environment, Henan Ploytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000, China;
(2) The Collaborative Innovation Center for Coalbed Methane and Shale Gas at the Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000, China.

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