Monday, November 10, 2014

Results of a recent hunt in some old Coal tailings

I've been very busy these last few weeks going collecting and that has caused me to be a little backed up on the blog. Once the weather turns cold I will have more time to focus on writing entries. In the meantime, posts may be a little more sporadic and focused on what I'm finding in the field. Today is just such a post and I'm showing off some Lepidodendron bark impressions that I found this past weekend near Gilberton, PA. They were collected from some old coal mine tailings piles. The coal mines in Schuylkill County, where Gilberton is located, exploited the anthracite coal seams of the Llwellyn formation which is Upper Carboniferous in age (Kasimovian-Gzhelian stage of the ICS or Upper Westphalian to Stephanian stage in Europe).

I first found this hunk of sandstone with a very nice bark impression. The sandstone is normally grey but is stained yellow-orange by iron deposits.

Next I found this larger piece which is in shale. It is damaged some but I brought home a couple of pieces with better definition.

Then I found this branch impression of what I think in Sigillaria. It's hard to see from the photo but there is curvature to the fossil. It was too delicate to remove so it was left in place.

Lastly I found this partial log (or stump?) partially buried in the pile. Once I excavated it I found that it was about 20" wide, 18" tall and 8" thick. No detail remained on the cast so I couldn't tell what kind of tree it was.

Unfortunately the piece was too heavy for me to try and haul back to my car, let alone lift it into the trunk. It must have weighed more than 100 lbs! It would have looked nice in my yard but I left it behind for some other, more enterprising collector to find.

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