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Valenciennes(väläNsyĕn`), city (1990 pop. 39,276), Nord dept., N France, on the Escaut (Scheldt) River. An old-line industry center in a former coal-mining region, its manufactures include railroad rolling stock, motor vehicles, paint, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and precision metalwork. An important place in medieval HainautHainaut
, Du. Henegouwen, province (1991 pop. 1,278,791), 1,437 sq mi (3,722 sq km), S Belgium, bordering on France in the south. The chief cities of the predominately French-speaking province are Mons, the capital; Charleroi; and Tournai.
..... Click the link for more information. , it became famous (15th cent.) for its lace industry. There is a museum there with works by Rubens and Van Dyck.
Nord and Pas-de-Calais, the largest coal basin in France in terms of reserves and mining. Located in the northeast of the country, it extends in a strip more than 100 km long and 10-15 km wide from the English Channel to the border of Belgium. (Its eastern continuation in Belgium is called the Liège basin.) Area, 1,000 sq km. The coal dates from the deposits of the upper Carboniferous period and is represented by two layers: the not very rich Namur and the Westphalian, which contains the principal coal strata.
The basin is a large asymmetrical syncline that enters the marginal downwarp of the Hercynian folding zone. The basin is divided by a transverse elevation into Pas-de-Calais on the west and the Nord basin on the east.
The coal-bearing series is 2,000-2,200 m thick and contains 70-80 seams and bands of coal; 50 of these bands have a working width of 0.6-1.6 m. The coals are characterized by their small content of moisture, cinders, and sulfur and by their high combustion heat—33.5-35.6 megajoules/kg (8,000-8,500 kilocalories/kg). Clinkering coals predominate (60-65 percent of all the reserves, half of which can be used for coking). Reserves of poor coals form 15-20 percent. Mining operations are being conducted at depths of 800-1,000 m and are accompanied by emission of large quantities of gases; reserves are estimated to a depth of 1,200 m at 1.62 billion tons and to a depth of 1,800 m at 4.59 billion tons. Valenciennes accounts for about 50 percent of France’s total coal production (50-55 million tons).
REFERENCEMatveev, A. K. Ugol’nye mestorozhdeniia zarubezhnykh stran. Moscow, 1966.
A. K. MATVEEV