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[ITRDBFOR] Crumbling Fossil Logs

Chronological Thread 
  • From: "Edward Frank" <edfrank AT>
  • To: itrdbfor AT
  • Subject: [ITRDBFOR] Crumbling Fossil Logs
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 15:25:16 -0400 (EDT)

There is a park in Bantak Thailand that contains a number of fossil tree
trunks that have been excavated. They have crumbled badly since first exposed
in 2004. Here is some info: "At Bantak Petrified Forest Park, seven large
fossil tree trunks have been excavated, including one specimen over 72 meters
in length. This specimen is one of the world's largest known petrified tree
trunks, and the overall collection of trunks represents one of the best fossil
tree sites in the world. Unfortunately once these trees were exposed to
weathering from rain, temperature variations and ground water seepage, the
fossil trunk began to deteriorate. The purpose of this project is to raise
funds so that permanent facilities may be built to preserve these specimens
and prevent any further deterioration." and "Abstract: Eight fossil wood
samples from seven excavation pits from Ban Tak Petrified Forest Park are
identified as Koompassioxylon elegans Kramer and Pahudioxylon cf. sahnii Ghosh
& Kazmi with botanical affinities to the extant species are Koompassia
malaccensis and Afzelia xylocarpa respectively. The study area, Ban Tak-Sam
Ngao basin, is a granite-based sedimentary basin containing fluvial sediments.
The fossil tree stumps and trunks occur on the eastern flank of the Ping River
in a channel gravel within fluvial and alluvial fan deposits formed from
changes in flow direction of the Ping and Wang rivers and their tributaries.
The sediments were deposited under a tropical moist climate during which time
mix deciduous forests flourished. The age of sedimentation is tentatively
assessed as Early Pleistocene." Petrified Tree Trunks from a Gravel Deposit,
Ban Tak Petrified Forest Park, Ban Tak–Sam Ngao Basin, Tak Province, Northern
Thailand by Wickanet Songtham, Dallas C. Mildenhall, Benjavun Ratanasthien

The situation is pretty dire for the fossil trunks:

They/we are creating a website and a fundraising effort toward the goal of
long term preservation. What I am looking for are ideas on how best to
preserve the specimens. Many of you have dealt with pre-fossil and crumbly
wood and I want to call on your expertise. Comments will be passed along to
the paleontologist at the park, and site visits could be arranged (but not
funds to go look.)

Edward Forrest Frank

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