Re: coal again!

Bill Payne (
Wed, 21 Apr 1999 18:00:44 -0600

On Wed, 21 Apr 1999 13:54:57 -0500 (Keith B Miller)

>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.
>The literature on coals, cyclothems and paleosols is extensive and open
>anyone. Please read it. You must address the breadth of relevant
>observations when making environmental/depositional interpretations.

Thank you so much for the correspondence. I have benefitted greatly from
our exchanges and appreciate the time you took to discuss this topic with
me. Now I have a heightened awareness of my need to do as you have
repeatedly urged me, and get into the literature.

I suppose in summary, you contend that the designation of paleosols is
based primarily upon microstructures, depositional fabrics, and vertical
gradation of chemical alteration/plant types, and has little or nothing
to do with the presence or absence of roots. In his 1984 paper, Gastaldo
argues that the presence of stigmarian axial root systems cross cutting
bedding in underclays proves that the organics were in situ. I can
counter Gastaldo since:

1) the presence of organics in underclays is limited, in my
observations, to rootlets and tree trunks and _no_ Stigmarian axials
(which Gastaldo says were required for support of the trees), and

2) tree trunks which, even by Gastaldo's admission, were transported and
also cross-cut bedding, demonstrating that cross-cutting bedding is not
evidence of in situ growth for tree trunks, and therefore should not be
applied to roots.

I look forward to aquiring a working knowledge of paleosols so I can
better understand your position. Thanks again!

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