FRACTURE AND BURIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTHERN ANTHRACITE FIELD, PENNSYLVANIA
Joint and vein orientations best represent structural conditions when rotated to bedding horizontal indicating that fracturing occurred prior to folding. Nearly orthogonal fracture sets of 340±10° and 050±5°, as well as 070±10° and 315±5° are observed. The 070±10° set is parallel to the anticlinal axis and the 340±10° is perpendicular, suggesting formation pre- to syn-folding. The other two sets are interpreted to have formed prior to folding. Single phase CH4±CO2 inclusions from quartz veins in the Pottsville Formation have minimum homogenization temperatures of less than -121 °C, and possibly as low as -130.3 °C. Based on an inferred thermobaric gradient of 25 °C km-1 these values indicate minimum trapping pressures of 188 MPa (7.2 km depth), and up to 290 MPa (11.2 km). Aqueous fluid inclusions homogenize between 216 and 230 °C. The aqueous inclusions are cogenetic with CH4±CO2, and by utilizing the Isochore Intersection method, give trapping conditions of 230 °C at 240 MPa (9.2 km depth).
Based on this analysis, at least 6 to 8 km of syntectonic overburden have been eroded from the Southern Anthracite Field area. These values are consistent with those determined from the Weir Mountain syncline to the south. Realized temperatures are high enough for anthracite to form.