Coal is present in relatively horizontal seams in the
prairies of central and southern Alberta and southern
Saskatchewan. The seams, which may be several kilometres in both
length and width, are usually uniform in thickness throughout.
The readily accessible plains coal occurs near the surface,
overlain by shallow layers of glacial till, soil or rock.
Foothills and mountain regions
The mountainous regions, which straddle the Alberta-British
Columbia boundary, contain extensive coal reserves. The
geological settings in the foothills and mountain regions are
more diverse than those of the plains and seams up to 15 metres
thick have been found. However, unlike the plains, the mountain
and foothills seams are often more deeply buried, steeply
inclined, and faulted.