Title: Characterization of petrified and mummified wood from an Eocene deposit in Mississippi

Author: N. Lee, S. Mun, M.F. Horstemeyer, S.J. Horstemeyer, D.J. Lang

Category: Earth Sciences

Conference Year: 2018

Abstract: This study experimentally investigates pieces of wood that include both mummified and petrified portions within the same pieces collected from the Red Hills Lignite Mine in Mississippi, USA. To the authors' knowledge, having petrified and mummified regions within the same piece of wood has not been previously reported. Our study analyzes the chemical compositions, microstructures, and nanohardness that help characterize the local regions of a piece of the lignite mine wood. The chemical analysis revealed that the composition of the mummified regions included carbon, meaning these regions were similar to currently growing wood, and other regions included silicon meaning these regions were petrified... in the same piece of wood! This chemical analysis verified the mummified/petrified wood regions in multiple pieces of wood. Micrographs showed that the mummified regions retained well-preserved wood cell structures, and the petrified regions retained recognizable plant structures. Based on the wood cell structures, we confirmed that the wood originated from a species of conifer. Nano-indentation results showed the nanohardness of the petrified region to be 4.57 ± 3.11 GPa and the mummified region to be 0.71 ± 0.39 GPa. These hardness results also confirm that the petrified regions and mummified regions were clearly different materials as the silicate region is known to be much harder than the carbon regions. With respect to the environmental condition that enabled petrification and mummification within the same pieces of wood, one would expect a rapid freezing in place of the petrified and mummified regions of the wood pieces. This evidence invites a clear criticism of the long age, slow process proffered by evolutionists, and also confirms either a late flood or shortly thereafter post-flood condition that helped shape the sediments in Mississippi.