The occurrence of coal-bearing strata in a variety of coal-bearing basins of China is characterized by late tectonic deformation and remarkable spatial and geochronologic differences. The main controlling factors, which determine the tectonic framework of coalfields, include the geodynamic environment, tectonic evolution, deep structures, tectonic stress, and lithologic combination of the coal measures. The Chinese continent has experienced multi-stage tectonic movements since the Late Paleozoic. The spatial and temporal heterogeneity of its continental tectonic evolution, the complexity of its basement properties, and its stratigraphic configurations control the tectonic framework of its coalfields’ present complex and orderly patterns. The concept of coal occurrence structural units is proposed in this paper and is defined as the structural zoning of coal occurrence. China’s coalfields are divided into five coal occurrence structural areas, and the structural characteristics of the coalfields in five main coal occurrence areas throughout the country are summarized. Based on the analysis of the relationship between the structure characteristics and occurrence of coal in these coalfields, the coal-controlling structures are divided into six groups: extensional structural styles, compressional structural styles, shearing and rotational structural styles, inverted structural styles, sliding structural styles, and syn-depositional structural styles. In addition, the distribution of coal-controlling structural styles is briefly summarized in this paper.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.