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394APS February Meeting, 2/3/2014, 7:00 pm

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  • alabamapaleo@yahoogroups.com
    Feb 2, 2014
      Reminder from: alabamapaleo Yahoo Group
      Title: APS February Meeting
      Date: Monday February 3, 2014
      Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (GMT+00:00)
      Location: Birmingham Zoo Auditorium
      Notes: TOPIC: "The Mystery of Paleozoic Clay Fossils"

      SPEAKER: Dr. Ron Buta

      ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Ron has been a teacher in the Dept of Astronomy and Physics at the University of Alabama since 1989. His research interests are focussed mainly on the morphology and dynamics of galaxies, with a special emphasis on ringed and barred galaxies. He has been a long-time member of the Alabama Paleontological Society, having expanded his interest in deep time from distant galaxies to the study of the remains of ancient life on our own planet. He is the author or co-author of over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous invited articles and book chapters in his field. Together with Drs. David Kopaska-Merkel and Andy Rindsberg, he co-edited the 2005 APS Monograph Pennsylvanian Footprints in the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama. He has also written a Guidebook to the Steven C. Minkin Paleozoic Footprint Site (see link below for access) and he and David have a book in press on the successful APS campaign to preserve the Minkin site entitled Footprints in Stone: On the Trail of Alabamas Coal Age Life.

      ABSTRACT: About 15 years ago, Jim Lacefield, author of "Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks: A Guide to the State's Ancient Life and Landscape", and I visited a site near Brookwood, Alabama, where Paleozoic plant fossils could be found in clay. I have been intrigued and puzzled by these fossils ever since. Finding Paleozoic plant fossils in clay is highly unusual and begs the question: how is this possible, and what does it mean? Paleozoic plant fossils are most commonly found in solid sedimentary rock layers between coal seams, not in wet clay. With my presentation, I want

      to consider these questions, among others:

      - what do Paleozoic clay fossils look like?
      - are the fossils in the clay really the remains of coal age plants?
      - was the clay ever solid rock, or has it been clay for more than 300
      million years? If it has always been clay, what conditions allowed it to
      remain as clay for so long?
      - are the clay layers part of the Pottsville Formation, and if so, at what
      position in the Pottsville are they found?
      - how are these clay layers related to coal seams?
      - how are Paleozoic clay fossil sites distributed in Alabama?

      PRESENTATION TIME: 7:00 pm.

      LOCATION: Birmingham Zoo -- Auditorium
      For directions to the Zoo, see the Zoos Website at http://www.birminghamzoo.com

      We will resume our informal pre-meeting dinner at Taziki's Greek Fare in January.
      **Web Address: http://alabamapaleo.org/Alabama_Paleontological_Society.html **
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