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By Claus F.K. Diessel

The writer provides examples of coal deposits varied continents: from the ecu Carboniferous and the Permian Gondwana series of Australia. The natural and petrographic composition of the coal content material of palaeo-environmentally good outlined teams of sediments permit the discrimination of 2 coal facies indices as appropriate symptoms for special settings. Combining the analytical tools of coal petrography, sedimentology and series stratigraphy an built-in view of coal formation is attained.

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For the absence of Sphagnum in coal deposits is related to its preference for cool habitats. 1 represent warm to tropical peatlands which likewise do not support much Sphagnum except at high altitudes (Whitmore 1984), under present-day conditions. The difference in the distribution of Sphagnum between temperate and tropical lowland ombrotrophic mires has considerable consequences for the respective peat facies. As mentioned above, Sphagnum peat is commonly characterised by a high 44 The Coalification Process proportion of preserved cell tissue giving it a high framework/matrix ratio and a fibrous appearance (Styan and Bustin 1983a, b).

Nuphar . Drosera anglica. Eriophorum vaginatum) in the ombrotrophic setting which require open water or a very wet habitat. In view of the elevated surface Fig. 1. View of a Sphagnum bog in northern Scotland with water-filled depressions and growth of Eriophorum and Erica (in foreground) Biochemical Coalification 45 of the raised bog one would expect it to be subjected more frequently to dry conditions rather than wet ones. Indeed, many bog plants display a xeromorphic habit in response to occasional drying, yet, water-filled depressions are a common feature of the bog surface (Fig.

The above-mentioned pteridophytes are wetland plants which, among other features, is shown by their widespread but shallow root system. As illustrated in Fig. 16, the stigmarian root axes, to which numerous rootless were spirally attached, radiated horizontally away from the stem. g. lycopods) thus forming a dense network of roots (Wnuk 1985) which rendered the peat rather resistant to erosion. Conversely, the horizontal anchoring and absorptive system of the pteridophytes made them very sensitive to even small variations in the groundwater table, such that a minor lowering of the water table would starve them (Collinson and Scott 1987).

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