Did Modern Coal Seams Form in a Peat Swamp? | The Institute for Creation Research

 
Did Modern Coal Seams Form in a Peat Swamp?

Most geologists are trained to think from a uniformitarian perspective—that "the present is the key to the past"—that present uniform processes operating throughout the past account for all present rock units. This concept considers coal to be the altered remains of plant material accumulated in a peat swamp. Let's look at modern peat swamps and the peat accumulating in their brackish waters and see if they would make a good coal.

Today's peat swamps sport extensive vegetation growing in shallow water or on saturated high ground. Nowhere can a laterally extensive flat surface be found. The decaying organic material collects in the stagnant, acidic water and takes on a rather "coffee grounds" texture with the wood and bark quite decayed, thoroughly penetrated by roots and animal burrows.

Let's compare this with a typical coal found in the geologic record. Although tectonics subsequent to deposition may have tilted or faulted the coal, modern coal seams usually show an extremely regular geometry. Often a knife-edge contact between the coal and the layers above and below can be seen. Most often the adjacent layers are shale or limestone, both "marine" deposits which necessitate a quite different environment of dep-osition from a terrestrial swamp. This involves repeated down warping and subsequent uplift in uniformitarian thinking.

The coal matrix is typically very fine grained, but surrounds abundant sheets of altered bark, recognizably different from the rest, giving coal a layered look. Seldom are roots present. Thin "clay partings" are almost always seen within the coal, often laterally extensive. They can be traced and correlated—some for miles. The seams are usually of rather constant thickness, and the now-flat bark sheets are consistent with the width and height of a tree. Although some variation does exist in all these parameters, everything about a coal seems different from a modern swamp peat, except it's high organic makeup.

Coal seams near Price, Utah.  The lower seam is about 3' thick.The accompanying photograph shows two coal seams visible in a road cut near Price, Utah. Observe the sharp contacts between the coal and the adjacent layers. If a swamp existed above sea level, but then was inundated by the sea to receive overlying marine sediments, then uplifted to become a swamp again, and the cycle repeated, one would think there would be some erosional channels or variation in peat thickness? How could they be so flat and of constant thickness, and how could there be such precise contacts above and below?

Modern-day peats do not seem to be of the same character as modern-day coals. Perhaps the creation model of decaying plant material collecting under a large floating mat during the Great Flood of Noah's day provides a better answer.

Cite this article: Morris, J. 2003. Did Modern Coal Seams Form in a Peat Swamp? Acts & Facts. 32 (8).

The Latest
NEWS
Geneticist Fired for Affirming Humans Once Lived 900 Years?
Geneticist Alexander Kudryavtsev, the head of the Russian Academy of Science’s Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, has been fired, reportedly...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Solar Eclipses
Designed by Susan Windsor* You're never too young to be a creation scientist and explore our Creator's world. Kids, discover fun facts...

APOLOGETICS
Motmot's Beauty Displays God’s Gracious Design
Beauty is God’s good gift. Whatever is truly good and beautiful comes from God (James 1:17), whose own beauty is beyond words. King David longed...

ACTS & FACTS
Eclipses: The Handiwork of Jesus Christ
Many remarkable events have occurred over the past 50+ years of the Institute for Creation Research’s ministry, but one of the most exciting is...

ACTS & FACTS
Dolomite Problem Best Solved by Flood
Dolomite is a very common sedimentary rock, comprising about 30% of all carbonate rocks.1,2 Its chemical formula is MgCa(CO3)2, whereas the...

ACTS & FACTS
RNA Editing: Adaptive Genome Modification on the Fly
When the workings of the genome were first being discovered, the central evolutionary dogma of molecular biology claimed that genetic information passes...

ACTS & FACTS
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve: Colossal Ice Age...
The tallest sand dunes in North America are found in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, located on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley...

ACTS & FACTS
Why Biology Needs a Theory of Biological Design – Part 1
Anyone who watches American football has observed a predictable inconsistency. When a pass is caught extremely close to the sideline, everyone with...

DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Spring 2024
...

NEWS
Is There Evidence for a Creator?
Contrary to what some scientists claim, there is compelling philosophical and scientific evidence that a Creator of the universe exists. For example,...