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Author Topic:   Undecayed Lake-Bed Vegetation Remains
lpetrich
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 6 (30643)
01-30-2003 2:12 AM


"Undecayed" is an overstatement, I'm sure, but I once made this interesting observation in my childhood:

I remember swimming in some lake, and dredging up some leaves with my feet. They were black, but otherwise they looked as if they had just fallen from their trees.

Has anyone observed anything similar?

I think that this is relevant to the question of polystrate trees. They could have been drowned and then gradually buried by different sediments, lasting the whole time because they decay too slowly.

And why the slow decay? Decay is easier with oxygen; aerobic metabolism can release over 10 times as much energy as anaerobic metabolism. And lake-bottom decay microbes can easily consume most of the oxygen in their habitat, limiting how much decay they can perform.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by John, posted 01-30-2003 9:41 AM lpetrich has not yet responded
 Message 3 by Bill Birkeland, posted 01-30-2003 1:48 PM lpetrich has not yet responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 6 (30695)
01-30-2003 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by lpetrich
01-30-2003 2:12 AM


quote:
Has anyone observed anything similar?

I grew up near a lake that was created in 1969 or so by damming a river. You can still see dead trees standing near the banks.

[This message has been edited by John, 01-30-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by lpetrich, posted 01-30-2003 2:12 AM lpetrich has not yet responded

  
Bill Birkeland
Member (Idle past 844 days)
Posts: 165
From: Louisiana
Joined: 01-30-2003


Message 3 of 6 (30734)
01-30-2003 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by lpetrich
01-30-2003 2:12 AM


lpetrich stated:

""Undecayed" is an overstatement, I'm sure, but I
once made this interesting observation in my childhood:

I remember swimming in some lake, and dredging up some
leaves with my feet. They were black, but otherwise
they looked as if they had just fallen from their
trees.

Has anyone observed anything similar?"

Similar observations were noted by Glenn Morton posted
to the thread "Re: fossilization" posted to the ASA
Evolution mailing list on January 26, 1998 at:

http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199801/0176.html

In the article, Glen Morton Stated:

"As to leaves, I would suggest looking at Robert A.
Spicer, "The sorting and Deposition of Allochthonous
Plant material in a Modern Environment at Silwood
Lake, Silwood Park, Berkshire, England" U. S.
Geological Survey Professional Paper 1143 (1981) p. 43.

Cores taken from the lake show several layers of leaf
litter still preserved at various depths. Core RB1 has
leaves from the surface to .1 meter. A leaf layer at
.25 m, .575 m, .6 m, 1.0-1.1 m, 1.3 m, 1.45 m.

Core DF1 has leaves in the sediment from .6 -.9 m
and from 1.1 m to 1.2 m.

Other cores shown in Figure 44 show other buried and
preserved leaf beds in the shallowest portion of the
leaves."

More information can be found at:

http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/fossilization.htm

Reference Cited:

Spicer, R. A., 1981, “The Sorting and Deposition of
Allochthonous Plant Material in a Modern Environment at
Silwood Lake, Silwood Park, Berkshire, England.
Professional Paper. no. 1143. US Geological Survey
Professional Paper, Reston, Virginia.

When paleontologists and geologists collect cores
from modern lakes to analyze for pollen, they often
find well-preserved leaves, pine needles and other
plant remains, called "plant macrofossils". Such
remains have been recovered from lake sediments
many thousands of years old. Numerous documented
examples can be found in "TERRESTRIAL AND
LIMNIC MACROFOSSILS" at:

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/parcs/chapter3.html

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/plantmacros.html

In fact, radiocarbon calibration has been done from
leaves and other plant macrofossils collected from
varved lake deposits. Two examples are:

Goslar, T., Arnold, M., Tisnerat, L. M., Hatte, C.,
Paterne, M., and Ralska, J. M., 2000, Radiocarbon
calibration by means of varves versus (super 14) C ages
of terrestrial macrofossils from Lake Gosciaz and Lake
Perespilno, Poland. Radiocarbon. vol. 42, no. 3,
pp. 335-348.

and

2. Scientific Report 1995-1997 PE-04. A 45.000 YEAR
VARVE CHRONOLOGY FROM JAPAN by H. Kitagawa and J. van
der Plicht at:

http://www.cio.phys.rug.nl/HTML-docs/Verslag/97/PE-04.htm

They stated:

"From the laminated sediments we selected
terrestrial-origin macrofossils such as leaves,
branches and insects for AMS 14C measurements."

Kitagawa, H., and van der Plicht, J., 1998. Atmospheric
Radiocarbon Calibration to 45,000 yr B.P.: Late Glacial
Fluctuations and Cosmogenic Isotope Production,
Science. vol. 279, no. 5354, pp. 1187- 1190.

http://ijolite.geology.uiuc.edu/02FallClass/geo433/papers/14C_%20production.pdf.

Mr. lpetrich continued:

"I think that this is relevant to the question of
polystrate trees. They could have been drowned and
then gradually buried by different sediments,
lasting the whole time because they decay too
slowly."

Polystrate trees have been found buried in sediments
associated with the modern course of the Mississippi
River and its current delta. near Donaldsonville, LA
three levels of polystrate trees have been found
buried on top of each other within backswamp sediments
that underlie the modern Mississippi River floodplain. it
is impossible for these polystrate trees to result from
any type of catastrophic global flood. The occurence of
three layers of polystrate trees is documented in an
article titled "Buried Forests Could Provide Clues to the
Past" published in the December 2002, vol. 12, no. 2,
issue of the "Louisiana Geological Survey News".
Free copies of this issue of this newsletter can be
ordered from them at:

http://www.lgs.lsu.edu/geopubs.htm

Mr. lpetrich continued:

And why the slow decay? Decay is easier with
oxygen; aerobic metabolism can release over 10
times as much energy as anaerobic metabolism.
And lake-bottom decay microbes can easily consume
most of the oxygen in their habitat, limiting
how much decay they can perform."

The preservation of wood in water saturated sediments
is extremely well documented. For example, the burial
shipwrecks in modern rivers was effective in preserving
wooden canoes , boats, and ships within river sediments.
Several examples of such vessels are described in the
January 10, 1998 issue of "Science News". In this issue,
Perkins (1998) discussed a number of historic shipwrecks
that archaeologists have found in the last few years.
Two historic shipwrecks were the "Arabia", found beneath
a Kansas cornfield, and the "Bertrand", found near
Missouri Valley, Iowa. Both sank in the Missouri River
and later buried intact by the shifting of its channel
River rather then by any catastrophe. Another example is
the relatively intact hull of a riverboat containing the
the bones of horses, that perished on it, found in the
point bar deposits of the Red River. Also, the wooden
hulls of the Civil War gunboat "U.S.S. Eastport" and
the late 1880s steamboat "S. S. Dix" have been preserved
by burial in water saturated sediments (Albertson (1995,
1996). Wood, leaves, plant fragments are abundant in
the historic and Holocene sediments of many modern
rivers where the sediments have remained water-
saturated.

Similar remains of wooden ships have been found all
along the Mississippi, Missouri, and other rivers
around the world.. Some published examples are the
remains of the Civil War gunboat "Arrow," from
Southeast Louisiana (Pearson et al. 1991). Another
example is an intact, 400 to 500 year old Native
American dugout canoe found by archaeologists deeply
buried in fluvial sediments along Steele Bayou, an
abandoned channel of the Mississippi River. This was
designated as Site 22WS776 (Fuller 1992).

The abstract for Fuller (1992) stated:

"In August of 1989 a dugout canoe was discovered
during dredging operations in Steele Bayou in
Washington County, Mississippi. The canoe, was
found in the bank of a section of the bayou that flows
through Swan Lake, a relict meander loop of the
Mississippi River. After inspection of the canoe and
its location, archaeologists with the Vicksburg District,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Mississippi
Department of Archives and History made
arrangements to temporarily protect the vessel and
to have it recovered and preserved."

The abstract for Fuller (1992) further stated:

"When recovered the canoe was found to be entirely
complete and amazingly well preserved. Analyses and
interpretations of the canoe and its setting indicate
it is late Mississippian in age, probably dating
around A.D. 1500-1600. Associated artifacts and
biotic remains are believed to be accumulations of
redeposited, water-borne materials that collected
in and around the flow shadow created by the canoe.
The position and condition of the vessel suggest it
may have been abandoned at the location where it was
found. After recovery and recordation, the canoe was
transported to the Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge
headquarters where it will undergo conservation."

The sediments filling this canoe contained abundant
well-preserved teeth and bones of reptiles and fish and
the shells of freshwater snails and mussels that
had accumulated in it after the canoe had sunk. An
abundance of wood and other plant material were found
in the sediments surrounding the canoe (Fuller 1992).

The above examples demonstrate that the burial and
preservation of organic materials, i.e. shells and
wood, doesn't require any catastrophic processes. In
all of the above cases, the normal meandering of a river
was sufficient to have buried and preserved wooden
objects as large as riverboats.

References Cited;

Fuller, R. S., 1992, Archaeological Recovery and Analysis
of an Indian Dugout Canoe (Site 22 WS 776) Discovered in
the Bank of Steele Bayou, Swan Lake, Washington County,
Mississippi. Final report by Coastal Environments, Inc.
prepared under Contract Number DACW38-89-D-0038,
Delivery Order no. 7, for the Vicksburg District U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Pearson, C. E., Guevin, B. L., and Saltus, A. R., 1991,
Remote Sensing Survey of the Lower Pearl and West Rivers,
Louisiana and Mississippi. Final report by Coastal
Environments, Inc. prepared under Contract Number
DACW38-89-D-0038, Delivery Order no. 8, for the Vicksburg
District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg,
Mississippi.

Perkins, S., 1998, Freshwater Finds: Inland Waters Yield
a Trove of Artifact, History, and Mystery. Science News.
vol. 153, no. 2, pp. 17-32.

Even more examples of wooden shipwrecks preserved by non-
catastrophic processes are discussed at:

http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/fossilization.htm

Also, the Young Earth creationist overlook whole
forests of polystrate trees buried in the volcanic
deposits, especially lahars, around Mt. Hood, Mt.
Rainer, and many other stratovolcanos around the world.

Some references about the Mt. Hood forests are:

Lawrence, D. B., and Lawrence, E. G., 1959,
Radiocarbon dating of some events on Mount Hood and
Mount St. Helens. Mazama. vol. 40, no. 14, pp. 10-18.

Cameron, K. A., and Pringle, P. T., 1987, A Detailed
Chronology of the Most Recent Major Eruptive Period at
Mount Hood, Oregon. Geological Society of American
Bulletin. vol. 99, no. 6, pp. 845-851.

Cameron, K. A., and Pringle, P. T., 1991, Prehistoric
buried forests of Mount Hood. Oregon Geology. vol. 53,
no. 2, pp. 34-43.

Forests of polystrate trees are also buried in Holocene
and historic lahar deposits of Mt. St. Helens, a person
can look at:

Karowe, A. L., and Jefferson, T. H., 1987, Burial
of Trees by Eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington:
Implications for the Interpretation of Fossil Forests.
Geological Magazine. vol. 124, no. 3, pp. 191-204.

Yours,

Bill Birkeland
Houston, Texas


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by lpetrich, posted 01-30-2003 2:12 AM lpetrich has not yet responded

  
lpetrich
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 6 (30789)
01-30-2003 9:59 PM


Thanx, Bill Birkeland.

It would seem that almost-undecayed leaves and branches are common in lake bottoms.

BTW, that leaf-carpeted lake I had visited was a lake in the mountains near central Pennsylvania.


Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by peter borger, posted 01-31-2003 9:24 PM lpetrich has not yet responded
 Message 6 by peter borger, posted 01-31-2003 9:24 PM lpetrich has not yet responded

  
peter borger
Member (Idle past 5978 days)
Posts: 965
From: australia
Joined: 07-05-2002


Message 5 of 6 (30902)
01-31-2003 9:24 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by lpetrich
01-30-2003 9:59 PM


Dear Ipe,

Just for your -and the boards- information:

In some places of the world fossil timber refuse to turn to stone and remains in the condition it was buried. I guess the most famous place is the Tarkin Wilderness in Tasmania. A ten meter meter high wall of used-to-be-forest material is alleged to be deposited there 35 My ago. The laeves and branches are in uncomprehensible perfect state and look like they were burries last year/decade.

Best wishes,
Peter


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by lpetrich, posted 01-30-2003 9:59 PM lpetrich has not yet responded

  
peter borger
Member (Idle past 5978 days)
Posts: 965
From: australia
Joined: 07-05-2002


Message 6 of 6 (30903)
01-31-2003 9:24 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by lpetrich
01-30-2003 9:59 PM


Dear Ipe,

Just for your -and the boards- information:

In some places of the world fossil timber refuse to turn to stone and remains in the condition it was buried. I guess the most famous place is the Tarkin Wilderness in Tasmania. A ten meter meter high wall of used-to-be-forest material is alleged to be deposited there 35 My ago. The laeves and branches are in uncomprehensible perfect state and look like they were burried last year/decade.

Best wishes,
Peter


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by lpetrich, posted 01-30-2003 9:59 PM lpetrich has not yet responded

  
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