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CAER Seminars

The Sedimentation, Stratigraphy, and Petrography of a Coal-Ash Pond in Carroll County, Kentucky

Bob Jewell
CAER, University of Kentucky

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 3:00 pm
Ben Bandy Conference Center
UK Center for Applied Energy Research

The sedimentation and stratigraphy of a coal-ash disposal pond were investigated with vibracoring and three-dimensional, computer-modeling techniques. Thirteen vibracores ranging in depth from 11 feet (3.4 m) to 37.5 feet (11.4 m) were retrieved from the 2200-MW Ghent power plant, ash-disposal pond in Carroll County, Kentucky. The disposal pond spans 120 acres (48.6 hectare) and is approximately 40 feet (12.2 m) in depth. Each vibracore was logged in the field and transported to the lab for a series of analyses for particle size, loss on ignition, gamma-ray intensity, petrography, x-ray diffraction, and x-ray fluorescence. Collected data were processed using ArcviewGIS and Rockware to create three-dimensional, layered isoliths and fence diagrams, as well as stratigraphic columns and profiles. Overall, nine sedimentologic units comprise a generally coarsening-upward, distally-fining stratigraphy. The origin, characteristics, distribution and spatial arrangement of the various sedimentologic units are all indicative of a lacustrine, fluvial-dominated, delta environment. Scintillometer data reveal that gamma radiation increases with depth, which also correlates to an increase of fine-grained ash.