Re: Roots in coal?

From: Bill Payne <bpayne15@juno.com>
Date: Mon Jan 19 2004 - 23:23:49 EST

On Fri, 9 Jan 2004 09:14:28 -0700 "Kevin and Digit Sharman"
<ksharman@pris.bc.ca> writes:
 
> > This is why I say I don't see how we can get banded
> > coals from this structureless mass of peat. Does your model include
> > transformation of structureless, intensely rottener peat into
> > banded coal? I think you said the structure of cells may be lost
during
> > coalification, but the formation of bands from a root mat seems to
> > require some fundamental reorganization.
>
> >Are you saying that
> > this tangled mass of roots could become banded coal through
> > coalification? If so, this is the process I need to understand.
>
> Bill, here is a paper by Cohen and Bailey (1997) on artificial
> coalification of peat. Quotes from the abstract: [snip]

> "The above
> petrographic results, along with previously reported chemical results,
all suggest
> that the methods that we have used in these experiments have produced
> changes that might reasonably be expected to occur during natural
> coalification (despite the fact that we have speeded up the process)."
>
> Does this, along with my previous comments, explain it well enough?
> You have expressed skepticism that roots in modern peats can transform
> into banded coal. Just because you can't conceive of how this could
> happen doesn't mean it can't happen (argument from incredulity).

You jump me for wanting to look at coal instead of the associated rocks.
Cohen and Bailey are exhibiting tunnel vision (like me). They did not
address the formation of partings. In my mind partings are a snapshot of
the peat surface when the parting was deposited. Partings do not form in
modern swamps because of the tree canopy, the very irregular surface of
the swamp, interruptions from trunks, and bioturbation by roots and
critters. If you dump a blanket of mineral dust over a swamp, you must
come up with a way to make the dust, which will be rapidly reworked, into
a band (parting) in the peat. Cohen and Bailey ignored this important
aspect of banded coal.

I'll try to get the paper tomorrow, but your quote says that they only
produced microscopic banding, which is a far cry from the 1/4-inch
banding I am accustomed to seeing. I find this paper unconvincing.

Bill

Bill

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Received on Mon Jan 19 23:33:59 2004

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