Re: Coal (Was the saddest statement)

Bill Payne (
Wed, 1 Sep 1999 23:07:23 -0600

On Mon, 30 Aug 1999 06:03:55 +0000 writes:

>This is not true. Waterlogged wood can last 100's of thousands of years.
>So I don't have to agree that the trees would rot rapidly. Afterall a
>swamp is a wet place and the tree stumps.

I agree, thank you for reminding me of this. Last year we were drilling
for depth-to-rock near a bridge across a creek. The bridge had been
built in the 1940's and the concrete forms had long since rotted away,
except, I noticed, just at the water's edge where short (~ 6 inches long)
pieces of the old 1 x 4 boards that formed the concrete 50 years ago were
still in place at the base of the pier.

>Not if the trees were waterlogged. No case can be made.

Maybe not. I'm thinking about agreeing with you. :-)

>Which reminds me, Mt. St. Helens is now about 20 years old and the
>in spirit lake haven't rotted yet.

True, but neither do they have roots beyond about two or three feet from
the base - which is just like the stumps I see near coal seams: stumps
without roots. If peat accumulates at the rate of an inch per year, or
whatever it is, and since we see stumps up to several feet in diameter
near coals, and since Gastaldo says that stigmarian axial systems
penetrate the substrate at angles of ~10 to 30 degrees, then why don't we
see roots attached to stumps in these supposed "coal swamps"? I assume
the flooded forests you cited have stumps with roots still connected?