Floating mats and coal - vegetation types

From: Kevin Sharman <ksharman@pris.bc.ca>
Date: Wed Feb 18 2004 - 07:55:38 EST

Hi Bill,
It has long been recognized that coals found in differing positions in the
geologic column have different species of vegetation. As a generalization,
Carboniferous coals are dominated by lycopods, tree ferns, and horsetails.
Coals higher up in the stratigraphic column, such as the Cretaceous coal of
the Gates Formation that we have been talking about, are dominated by
gymnosperms, cycads, and ginkgos. Tertiary coals contain gymnosperms and

How can the floating mat explanation be used to explain this data? Saying,
as you have, that the vegetation was segregated into the various types while
it was growing, then it was ripped up and remained segregated, needs a
mechanism. A "massive wave which overtopped the continents" (your words)
sounds like a pretty efficient mixing method to me. To get the thickness of
veg material you need to make the seams, you need to have a thick pile of
plants. You have said that the mats weren't this thick to begin with:

"rather large land areas produce vast areas of peat which are later
concentrated into much smaller areas as they settle out of water" (Jan 25)

"I guess the mats would have to be bound together with roots until they
started to settle out of suspension. Then getting thin mats to become
"hundreds of feet thick" (my words) is problematic" (Jan 26)

so you need to mix plants together to get the thickness.

 Having mats of a given composition remain over one area to make a certain
type of coal without even a single log, leaf or spore from another type of
vegetation being mixed in is going to be a challenge for you to explain.
For example, no large lycopods occur in post-Permian coals, do they?

Many areas have one type of coal forming vegetation in the lowest strata,
and vertically above this, different vegetation types forming higher seams.
An example of this is the central Alberta region, where lower Cretaceous
coals have one floral assemblage, upper Cretaceous coals another, and
Paleocene coals yet another. You have pointed out that Alabama has
Pennsylvanian coals and younger lignites, with completely different
vegetational makeup. How does this form with floating mats? Did one kind
of mat hover over the area, making multiple seams, then later a different
kind hovered, etc.?

Even within coals of similar age, different pollen and spore forms appear
and disappear as you pass upsection. How do you explain this with floating
mats? Since you are saying that all the plants were alive at the same time
in the pre-Flood world, why is it that no angiosperm pollen is found in
coals older than Cretaceous? Pollen is light enough to be carried around in
the stratosphere.

Bill, I hope you are realizing that the whole floating mat thing just doesn'
t make sense. You need way too many ad hoc explanations to fix all the
problems with it.

Received on Wed Feb 18 07:57:04 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Feb 18 2004 - 07:57:05 EST