I cannot comment further on anything regarding stumps and large root
systems within coals. I have seen trunks and stumps perhaps only twice in
the field as part of fieldtrips. I did not have the time to examine them
closely. The basis of the recognition of the in situ origin of the great
majority of coals is simply not based on the presence or absence of stumps
and large rooting structures.
I have seen a number of Pennsylvanian coal-bearing cyclothems (mostly in
Kansas and in Kentucky), and have seen many paleosols within the parts of
these cycles associated with lowered sealevel. Some paleosols were
associated with the coals and others were not.
My personal research involves the recognition of paleosols and their
climatic interpretation. This work is in a cyclic stratigraphic context,
and I am likewise interested in the genesis these cycles. My research is
in the non-coal bearing lower Permian cyclothems of the midcontinent.
I have provided you with information and references regarding the
stratigraphic and depositional context of coals, on the genesis of
cyclothemic deposits, and on the criteria for identifying paleosols.
Unfortunately you do not seem to consider this information relevant. As a
result any additional remarks by me will be unproductive.
The literature on coals, cyclothems and paleosols is extensive and open to
anyone. Please read it. You must address the breadth of relevant
observations when making environmental/depositional interpretations.
Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506