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Subfossil forest found in Zurich clay layer

31 May 2013

Interesting piece of geology this – the remains of an Alpine forest found in a clay layer. How long did it take the clay to form?

The story is at http://phys.org/print289115976.html … but does not focus on the geology, or how it is interpreted. Instead, the piece centres on the surviving tree stumps – can they be used to fill a gap in the central European dendrochronology, taking it back virtually to the Ice Age. The discovery of what is called a subfossil forest – why not fossil? The trees have remained intact for 13,000 years – which is very near the Younger Dryas boundary (but this is not mentioned in the news release). It is hoped the discovery will also help to tie down the calibration curve – there is a series of plateau events which cause problems. See also www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/treering.html

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