EPSC 181 Lecture 14: Lecture 15

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Occurs naturally, can be accelerated by human activity. Areas with fresh water lakes will lose their fresh water lakes because sediments will enter. Only found in rocks younger than 420 million years ago. Coal forming mostly in the carboniferous (354-286 ma) Lignin: difficult to digest molecule that fills the space between plant cells. Gives strength to the cell walls of plants. It took 60 million years for fungi to learn to break down lignin. They take on this brown colour because the lignin has this brown colour and that"s all that"s left behind. When the cellulose is left behind and the lignin has been eaten. Sea level rise and fall buries wetland deposits. Compaction and decay turn plant debris into peat. Anthracite forms by metamorphism in an orogenic belt. There is an estimated 265 billion short tons of coal available in the united states to be mined.

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