Re: Coal and theYEC position

Bill Payne (
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 21:54:56 -0600

13 Apr 1998 04:56:18 -0500, Glenn Morton wrote:

> I don't get the feeling from the above that there is lots and lots of bark.
> But I may be wrong.

I really think you are mistaken, at least in the case of vitrain coal,
which is the class of bituminuous coal I'm most familiar with here in
Alabama. Table 2.1 (from _Handbook of Practical Coal Geology_, by Larry
Thomas, 1992, Wiley & Sons, p 6) lists 6 lithotypes of coal: Vitrain,
Clarian, Durain, Fusain, Cannel coal, and Boghead coal. Vitrain is
described as "black, very bright lustre; thin layers break cubically;
thick layers have conchoidal fracture." The other five lithotypes have
lustres described respectively as: medium, dull, silky, 'greasy', and
dull or 'greasy'.

"The organic units or macerals that make up the coal mass can be
identified in all ranks of coal. Essentially macerals are divided into
3 groups: (i) huminite/vitrinite, which consists of woody materials;
(ii) exinite (liptinite), which consists of spores, resins and cuticles;
and (iii) inertinite, which consists of oxidised plant material... The
relationship between maceral type and the original plant material has
been well documented. The plant materials that make up coal have
different chemical compositions, which in turn determine the types of
group macerals. Such chemical differences are clear in lower rank coals
but it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish petrographically
between the various macerals with increasing coalification." (Ibid, p
8-9) "In low rank coals, i.e. lignites and subbituminous coals, the
vitrinite maceral group is referred to as huminite, and is regarded as
equivalent to, and the precursor of, the vitrinite macerals found in
higher rank coals. The classificatiion of huminite macerals is
summarised in Table 2.7, which gives details of their origin and their
equivalents in the hard coals. An increase of coal rank leads to the
homogenisation of the macerals of the huminite-vitrinite group, the term
collinite being used to describe homogeneous structureless vitrite."
(Ibid, p 12)

Table 2.7 lists 6 macerals. The origin of 2 macerals is "woody tissue,"
2 more macerals' origin is "finely comminuted," one is "derived from
colloidal humic solutions which migrate into existing cavities and
precipitate as gels, and the last maceral origin is "condensation
products of tannins characteristic of bark tissues."

It appears to me that grasses would be unable to provide the woody
tissue which comprises the bulk of vitrain coal.

> You assumed lots of bark with no documentation and now have taken as fact
> the large bark content of coal. This is not the proper way to handle the
> chain of logic. First prove that bark is a major constituent of coal. then
> we can deal with this.

I'd be happy to hear your rebuttal if you think vitrain coal is not
comprised of "woody tissue". What does *your* research show?

> I thought that the entire globe was covered in water and that all the high
> mountains were covered by the flood. So how do you have mountains sticking
> up when the mats are dumping? How much variation was there in the sealevel
> during the flood? Where did the extra water come from and go to? After all
> ups and downs in water level require extra water.

There you go again. Can we stick to something a little more solid? :-)

> That is a log jam. the logs are not moving anywhere, but are staying put in
> the Lake.

During one of Steve Austin's slide shows, he showed us a picture of
Spirit Lake with the log mat in the lower left portion of the lake (as
viewed in the slide). He then showed us another slide taken later in
the day, and pointed out that the log mat had moved to the upper part of
the picture, in response to the wind. Also, photos from underwater show
the logs to be loosely floating, not interlocked.

> I don't agree that that is what the data tells us. It only tells you that
> if you assume a global flood which has so many other problems that it is a
> weak assumption.

Forget the global flood. Explain the Pittsburg coal data from your
swamp model, "which has so many other problems that it is a weak

> Shallow seas are where the fastest currents move. Go look up Bernoulli's law.

Bernoulli, is he related to that Italian, Carburetor Venturi?

Bill Payne