Re: Coal (Was the saddest statement)
Mon, 30 Aug 1999 06:03:55 +0000

At 02:12 AM 08/30/1999 -0600, Bill Payne wrote:
>On Sun, 15 Aug 1999 11:45:41 +0000 writes:
>I am finding that vertical tree stumps cross-cutting strata (polystrate
>fossils) are quite common in sandstones and shales associated with coal
>seams in Alabama. I think we would agree that the strata in which these
>polystrates are found must have been deposited rapidly, or the trees
>would have rotted if their burial had taken thousands of years.

This is not true. Waterlogged wood can last 100's of thousands of years.
There is a whole forest of tree stumps under the North Sea off the British
coast. These trees were buried when the sea rose 12,000 years ago. I see
the same thing in lakes in oklahoma where I scuba dived years ago. The
lakes at that time were 30 years old but the trees were well preserved. A
400,000 year old waterlogged wooden spear was found in Schoningen Germany.
(Robin Dennell, "The World's Oldest Spears," Nature 385(Feb. 27, 1997), p.
So I don't have to agree that the trees would rot rapidly. Afterall a coal
swamp is a wet place and the tree stumps.

>upon the frequent occurrence of polystrate tree fossils, a case may be
>made for the rapid deposition of much of the geologic record associated
>with coals.

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

Based upon the common occurrence of partings and the total
>lack of tree stumps/roots cross-cutting the coal (which is exactly what
>we would see if your Okefenokee model were correct), we can logically
>infer deposition from a floating mat similar to the peat deposit from the
>floating logs in Spirit Lake below Mt. St. Helens, which again is rapid

Which reminds me, Mt. St. Helens is now about 20 years old and the stumps
in spirit lake haven't rotted yet.
>These observations are not equivocal, and their implications are not
>discussed, AFAIk, in the literature.

Won't work Bill.

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