Re: Roots in coal?

From: Kevin Sharman <>
Date: Tue Jan 20 2004 - 00:31:54 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Payne" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 9:23 PM
Subject: Re: Roots in coal?

> On Fri, 9 Jan 2004 09:14:28 -0700 "Kevin and Digit Sharman"
> <> 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.

No Bill, I said (Jan. 16th): "Coal does not occur in isolation. One must
look at the coal itself AND the
context of it." Bill, I think you are getting a tad defensive.

> 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.

Their paper is on artificial coalification of peat. <sarcasm>What did you
expect them to do - throw in a handful of mud to see what would happen?<end

See my other post tonight for my explanation of partings.

> 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.

Please re-read the abstract. They made the bands DISAPPEAR: "the numerous
lens-like bands
produced by the compressed roots were very distinct at the 60/2100 psi
(121.4 kg/cm2) stage but nearly disappeared at the 175/5000 psi (289.1
kg/cm2)) stage." Does this satisfy your need to make roots disappear during

I will re-re-repeat myself on this subject: (Jan.5th) "The banding in coals
is from the original vegetation types and the coalification history of the
peat. The same parent vegetation can make layers of different macerals
depending on its history of transformation into coal."

Received on Tue Jan 20 00:32:35 2004

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