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300 million year old fossilized forest discovered under coal mine in China
ZME Science ^ | 2/21/12

Posted on 02/22/2012 4:01:42 AM PST by LibWhacker

There’s some good coming off China’s extensive coal exploitation (the nation holds the top place for most pollutant emissions resulting from burning coal), as recent mining activities around Wuda in Inner Mongolia, China, has uncovered an almost perfectly preserved 298 million year-old forest. The forest, which also features intact trees with leaves, branches, trunk and cones, was buried by volcanic ash, and thus kept away from time’s unforgiving touch.

The researchers dubbed the forest the “Pompeii of the Permian period, since the manner in which it was preserved bared a striking resemblance to the famous Roman namesake event. The volcanic ash covered a large expanse of forest over the course of only a few days, ultimately sealing it away from time until present day.

The plant fossils were so well preserved, that scientists actually surprised many specimens in a falling stance, next to where they used to grow.

“It’s marvelously preserved,” says University of Pennsylvania paleobotanist Hermann Pfefferkorn.

“We can stand there and find a branch with the leaves attached, and then we find the next branch and the next branch and the next branch. And then we find the stump from the same tree. That’s really exciting.”

The researchers discovered in total a 10,763-square-foot area hidden under a coal mine using heavy industrial machinery. In all, they identified six groups of trees, some up to 80 feet high, with tree ferns forming a lower canopy. Remarkably enough, they had the good luck of finding nearly complete specimens of a group of trees called Noeggerathiales – extinct spore-bearing trees, closely related to ferns.

The ash layer was dated from around 298 million years ago, the beginning of the Permian period ( 299 to 251 million years ago). During that time, the planet’s continental plates were still coming together to form the super-continent Pangaea, and the first groups of mammals, turtles, lepidosaurs and archosaurs started to roam the Earth.

“This is the first such forest reconstruction in Asia for any time interval, it’s the first of a peat forest for this time interval and it’s the first with Noeggerathiales as a dominant group,” says Pfefferkorn. “It’s a time capsule.”



TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: ash; catastrophism; china; chinaforest; coalmine; discovered; forest; fossilized; fossilizedforest; godsgravesglyphs; peat; permian; thomasgold; volcanic

1 posted on 02/22/2012 4:01:57 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping.


2 posted on 02/22/2012 4:04:34 AM PST by FrogMom (There is no such thing as an honest democrat!)
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To: LibWhacker

Surely there are actual photos and not just an artist’s rendering.?

Fascinating stuff though!


3 posted on 02/22/2012 4:18:58 AM PST by Outlaw Woman (When does the shooting start?)
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To: LibWhacker
Noeggerathiales

Henceforth to be called African-Anericanathiales

4 posted on 02/22/2012 4:22:48 AM PST by 1raider1
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To: LibWhacker

“...the manner in which it was preserved bared a striking resemblance to the famous Roman namesake event.”

Really?

Is that anything like “BORE a striking resemblance...”?


5 posted on 02/22/2012 4:28:58 AM PST by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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LET'S PUT THIS THING IN OVERDRIVE,
AND BRING THIS FREEPATHON HOME!



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6 posted on 02/22/2012 4:58:17 AM PST by deoetdoctrinae (Gun-free zones are playgrounds for felons)
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To: SMARTY

“Is that anything like “BORE a striking resemblance...”?”
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Dem folk sho’ do be larnin’ sum fine stuff now, don’t dey? Iffen dey wuz two git too go two skool fo’ bout fohty yeer dey mite mebbe larn sum o’ what us ol’ folk usted too larn in de fust six yar mebbe. Dey be gittin’ on reel gud considern dey to udderly ignant two milk de cow.

Seriously, it is sickening. We have university graduates who could not pass a fifth grade English test from a public school of the nineteen fifties.


7 posted on 02/22/2012 5:23:51 AM PST by RipSawyer
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To: RipSawyer

I had the impression that this piece was translated into English by someone who was not good at English


8 posted on 02/22/2012 5:34:40 AM PST by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: SMARTY
I had the impression that this piece was translated into English by someone who was not good at English

Then your impression leaves much to be desired. Of course, it could have been translated into a level of English higher than you usually read. Aside from a couple of problems with commas, it was excellent English, far better than what is seen in most of the comments of posters on the various FR threads.
9 posted on 02/22/2012 5:40:26 AM PST by aruanan
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To: SMARTY

Okay, I see the “bared” instead of “bore” and the “has” for activities instead of “have”. Still, though, compared to many atrocious translations from Chinese to English I have read, as well as English written by Chinese over here in the U.S., a recent example being from that little moron working as a Fox intern, this is pretty good. And it’s still better than what passes for English from a lot of posters here on FR.


10 posted on 02/22/2012 5:51:42 AM PST by aruanan
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To: LibWhacker

They discovered a four square mile ancient forest in Illinois while coal mining. I believe the fossil site in Illinois was dated to the Upper Carboniferous. You never know what awaits down in a mine, in horror films there are monsters but for science geeks what they actually find is even more interesting.


11 posted on 02/22/2012 5:52:59 AM PST by dog breath
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To: LibWhacker
Related to this:
Another global observation of similar significance is the vertical stacking of hydrocarbons deposits, Kudryavtsev's Rule: "Any region in which hydrocarbons are found at one level will be seen to have hydrocarbons in large or small quantities, but at all levels down to and into the basement rock." The most common sequence is to find gas at the deepest levels, oil above, sometimes more gas above the oil, and coal at the shallowest. If one examines gas, oil and coal maps of different parts of the globe, one finds this rule repeated very frequently. It holds in most of the Middle East: many oil wells in Iran have penetrated through large coal deposits. Deep underneath the oil of the Gulf States, large gas fields have been discovered. Almost all the oil wells of Java and Sumatra have drilled through coal, and even the deep gas of Oklahoma is often underneath coal. What we are seeing is principally a succession of hydrocarbons with diminishing hydrogen content as one goes from the deepest to the shallowest. One presumes that bacterial action, which attacks the hydrogen rich hydrocarbons first, has been largely responsible for the progressive hydrogen depletion of upwelling hydrocarbons. For coal, the situation is more complex because biology can be involved in another way also. In a hydrocarbon outgassing area, the ground water is held strongly anoxic because hydrocarbon oxidizing bacteria are abundant there, and quickly remove atmospheric oxygen carried in that water. The result is that the normal processes of fermentation of plant material, which would turn the carbon back to the atmospheric CO2, will be interrupted. Hydrocarbon outgassing areas tend to become swamps filled with the insoluble carbon of plant material. What plant fossils there are in bituminous coal (frequently there are none) are often themselves filled with the same homogeneous coal as that which surrounds them, suggesting a carbon source different from the fossilized plant material itself. It would not seem possible that plant material was converted into the homogeneous coal, and yet that a fraction survived as fossils with a precise maintenance of detail; and that this was then filled by the homogeneous coal derived from similar material.

12 posted on 02/22/2012 5:57:00 AM PST by aruanan
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To: dog breath

http://www.isgs.uiuc.edu/research/coal/fossil-forest/fossil-forest.shtml

Interesting photos.


13 posted on 02/22/2012 6:14:49 AM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: aruanan; SMARTY
Is it possible that rather than faulty translation this is a translation into British, not American, English?

I know some of their agreement rules and verb conjugations are different from ours; I just don't know if that is the case here.

14 posted on 02/22/2012 9:18:47 AM PST by Gil4 (Sometimes it's not low self-esteem - it's just accurate self-assessment.)
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To: Gil4
Is it possible that rather than faulty translation this is a translation into British, not American, English?
I know some of their agreement rules and verb conjugations are different from ours; I just don't know if that is the case here.


There are singular appearing nouns in British English that use plural pronouns and verbs, but I don't think it's the other way around.

The past tense of "bared" and "bore" are the past tenses respectively of "bare" and "bear," as in "She bared her breasts in public; her husband bore the humiliation silently."
15 posted on 02/22/2012 9:37:56 AM PST by aruanan
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To: aruanan
"Then your impression leaves much to be desired...Aside from a couple of problems with commas, it was excellent English..."

Really?

"...that scientists actually surprised many specimens in a falling stance..."

16 posted on 02/22/2012 9:58:59 AM PST by mlo
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To: mlo

Look at immediately subsequent postings by me. You probably saw them, but it would undermine your sarcasm.


17 posted on 02/22/2012 10:36:57 AM PST by aruanan
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To: aruanan

I saw nothing related to that phrase. You might want to read your own posts before you complain about the tone in anyone else’s.


18 posted on 02/22/2012 10:54:36 AM PST by mlo
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To: dog breath

“in horror films there are monsters but for science geeks what they actually find is even more interesting.”

Oh, I don’t know about that. Some poor geek in a coal mine would find an other-worldly monster mighty interesting indeed. ;-)


19 posted on 02/22/2012 11:10:08 AM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: SMARTY; mlo; aruanan
Bros..wat is u probs?

Sea wat I sayin?

20 posted on 02/22/2012 11:17:58 AM PST by Osage Orange (A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.)
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To: mlo
I saw nothing related to that phrase. You might want to read your own posts before you complain about the tone in anyone else’s.

Again, the selection, just like your use of ellipses. I referred to the piece as a whole, that was pretty evident, and I related it to other examples of poor writing by Chinese dealing with English.
21 posted on 02/22/2012 2:46:19 PM PST by aruanan
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To: TexasRepublic

Okay, you are correct a living monster would be very cool, I take back that statement.


22 posted on 02/22/2012 8:21:24 PM PST by dog breath
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...

Thanks FrogMom, Renfield, and LibWhacker.


23 posted on 02/24/2012 5:49:22 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: FrogMom; Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks FrogMom. Thanks also to Renfield for sending the link, which I didn't move on fast enough.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


24 posted on 02/24/2012 5:49:22 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: aruanan

Bared witness?


25 posted on 02/24/2012 6:06:01 PM PST by ThanhPhero (Khach hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: aruanan
far better than what is seen in most of the comments of posters on the various FR threads.

Now you have to be an English major to voice your opinion?

26 posted on 02/24/2012 6:23:15 PM PST by Sawdring
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To: aruanan

Thanks aruanan.


27 posted on 02/25/2012 6:16:07 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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the "fossilizedforest" keyword:
28 posted on 02/25/2012 6:24:20 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: Sawdring
far better than what is seen in most of the comments of posters on the various FR threads.

Now you have to be an English major to voice your opinion?


No, one doesn't even have to write clearly or with any sort of thought or regard to spelling, grammar, context, or facts to voice his opinion. It just helps to make one's opinion a bit more believable to use correctly written English, which includes correct spelling, agreement in number between subject and verb, etc; you know, basic stuff.
29 posted on 02/25/2012 7:49:36 AM PST by aruanan
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To: ThanhPhero
Bared witness?

I guess that's a witness that's letting it all hang out.
30 posted on 02/25/2012 7:50:51 AM PST by aruanan
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To: LibWhacker; SunkenCiv

The forest is probably the reason for the coal. I mean everyone knows that fossil fuels comes from old buried dinosaurs. Haven’t we all seen the old Sinclair Oil signs with their distinctive Dino logo? Well, there you are.

I bet there are lots of fossilized dino bones in that forest where they were peacefully sleeping in dinosaur hammocks. (er...I made that up)


31 posted on 02/25/2012 10:33:08 AM PST by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: SunkenCiv; All

Here is another potential Catastrophe you might want to post or find elswhere and post. Long interesting article, with references to Apophis as well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/28/asteroid-2011-ag5-may-pose-threat_n_1306200.html?ref=science&ncid=webmail14


32 posted on 02/29/2012 12:02:29 AM PST by gleeaikin
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