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Friday, February 24, 2012

Chinese Pompeii of trees: 300million-year-old forest preserved by volcanic ash found beneath Chinese coal mine

A 300-million-year-old forest has been found preserved by volcanic ash, just as the Roman town of Pompeii was.

The remarkable discovery was made near a coal mine at the city of Wuda in China, by a University of Pennsylvania scientist and Chinese researchers.

The study site is unique as it gives a snapshot of a moment in time. Because volcanic ash covered a large expanse of forest over the course of only a few days, the plants were preserved as they fell, in many cases in the exact locations where they grew.

‘It's marvellously preserved,’ said Hermann Pfefferkorn, a paleobotanist from Penn's Department of Earth and Environmental Science. Read More