Re: coal again!

Keith B Miller (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 22:03:57 -0600

Bill wrote:

>If you disagree with me, then you also disagree with Gastaldo, who is
>very familiar with the literature as he lists two or three (as I recall)
>pages of references at the end of his 1984 paper. Why don't you tell us
>where Gastaldo got off track with his assertion that "The variable angle
>of axial penetration and their cross-cutting relationships, the helical
>and undistrubed arrangement of the 'rootlets', and the abiotically
>undisturbed sediment surrounding the axial/appendage system, lend support
>to their autochthonous character."?

I have read his paper. I do not disagree with Gastaldo, of course
stigmarian roots and axial systems are locally present. What I am
disagreeing with is your stated standard for falsification of your model.

You have stated now several times that "intensely and deeply rooted
underclays" would convince you that your model was incorrect. You further
state "I have seen these root systems preserved in strata above and below
coal seams, but never immediately below any coal." I have stated as
clearly as I can that intensely and deeply rooted underclays are not the
expectation of the in situ formation of coal peats for several reasons.
Therefore the lack of such features provides no basis for disgarding the in
situ model. Furthermore you continue to ignore the arguments for the
presence of paleosols, for which there is an extensive literature.


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506