Coal/Tree Trunks

From: Bill Payne (
Date: Sun Jun 17 2001 - 16:27:13 EDT

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    On Tue, 12 Jun 2001 19:33:45 +1000 Jonathan Clarke
    <> writes:

    > Please stick to the point. Your said (Thu, 07 Jun 2001 20:45:01 +1000)
    > tree stumps commonly up to 2+ feet in diameter are virtually *never*
    found in
    > coal seams in the eastern US". I gave you five references, two from
    > eastern US and three from Canada that give examples of just this. Have
    > read them?

    There were 4 references, not 5. I have now obtained one from a library
    in Birmingham. Two more I should be able to get next week from a library
    in Tuscaloosa. The fourth reference, J. W. Dawson, "On the coal measures
    of the south Joggins, Nova Scotia" (Quarterly Journal of the Geological
    Society of London 10 (1854): 1-41) I may not be able to obtain locally.

    > You now write "I have seen tree trunks above, below, and between
    > coal seams." So you recognise that there are erect I am not surprised
    > have seen trees above, below, and between coal seams. The references I
    > mention give examples of this. Your point is???

    You're using the exception to establish the rule. I did not say that
    these examples do not exist, just that they are very rare.

    > I give you five published references easily located at a good library
    and you
    > mention a your interpretation of powerpoint presentation by unnamed
    > people?

    1) The published refs may be in error. 2) Yours is an appeal to
    authority, not open to new interpretations of data. 3) If they publish,
    or if I get permission to release their names, then I will.

    I wrote: "The presenter showed photographs of, I'm guessing, more than 50
    tree trunks in the interval between the Blue Creek and Mary Lee. *None*
    of these trees had roots attached. One photograph in particular was a
    closeup of the base of a tree, and clearly showed that the trunk was
    truncated, not rooted."

    > Is this your interpretation of the photos or are they the presenter's?
    > the bases of the trees truncated or is presevation such that small
    > like roots are not likely to be preserved? But what is your point
    > exactly?

    One photograph in particular was clear enough to speak for itself without
    interpretation. The base of that tree was clearly truncated. Tree roots
    are commonly preserved in the geologic record. My point is that the case
    for transported rather than in situ vertical tree trunks is compelling.
    I will address this again when I get the other available refs. you

    > We discussed this on the ACG list. Flooding of the swamps does not
    prove your
    > theory at all. Episodic flooding of coal forming environments is a
    > part of most of the various models proposed (delta crevasse splay,
    > plain, intramontane basin coastal plain). Tonsteins vary greatly in
    > depending on the deposit. Where they are continuous there was clearly
    nothing to > interrupt this continuity, whether that continuity
    is of the order of 10's of m, km, or 10's of > km.

    I'm glad to see you admit that there are areas between and above coal
    seams where "there was clearly nothing to interrupt this continuity,
    whether that continuity is of the order of 10's of m, km, or 10's of km."
     The continuity of partings between and bedding immediately above coal
    seams is a snapshot of the top of the organic mat at the time of
    deposition. Since we agree that there was "clearly nothing to interrupt
    this continuity," then the tops of the organic mats were at that time
    clear of any vertical obstructions, and remarkably smooth. Where have
    you seen a swamp with an organic surface as smooth as a tabletop for 10's
    of square kms?

    I am going to try to send some photos separately. I'll comment on them
    later if they go through (I tried last night and they didn't make it).

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