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Mazon Creek Pyritized Wood


connorp

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Last week I found what I think is pyritized wood from Pit 11. Is this the case? And if so, is there anything more scientific I can call these specimens?

 

1)

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2)

IMG_8102.thumb.jpg.f1425748cbc1bdea1b446ff93fa82c13.jpg

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Interesting. Is this hard like metal? I sometimes find something that looks like black wood at first but turns out to be coal when at the Braceville spoil pile. But this seems more silvery. 

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26 minutes ago, bigred97 said:

Interesting. Is this hard like metal? I sometimes find something that looks like black wood at first but turns out to be coal when at the Braceville spoil pile. But this seems more silvery. 

It's definitely not coal, and the shiny stuff definitely seems like pyrite. Other members have mentioned finding pyritized wood in the Tipple area of Pit 11 which is where I found these, but I haven't seen many pictures. If this is wood, I think it's just the inner bark. I don't think wood is easily if at all identifiable without the outer bark, but I thought I'd ask. This stuff is pretty neat, I'm going back next week, hopefully will find some larger pieces.

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Very cool, I've never gone over by the Tipple area, but that's definitely on my list to try some time. Let us know if you find some more! Chris

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Mark Kmiecik

There are other fossils found in the areas where MC concretions are found. They come from the strata above and below the Francis Creek Shale which contained the MC concretions prior to their exposure during the mining processes. Some specimens are heavily pyritized. They are not "Mazon Creek" fossils, as the name is generally accepted as applying to only the concretions found in the Francis Creek Shale layer. There is some "Frankenstein" material found in the contact layer between the FCS and those above and below.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are two more finds from the same area. The first is just a larger piece similar to the ones posted. Still not sure if it's wood.

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And this one is quite interesting, never seen anything of the sort before. Looks like some kind of plant material to me.

IMG_8147.thumb.JPG.9bc0a9513de4a2ca8b8eeb54f480888a.JPG

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Any ideas on either of these?

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Those are really interesting. Is the surface of the second really fossilized? It's not similar to the first, but has some kind of lichen growing on it, is it? Really curious to hear what other people think.

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Looks like wood.  I have a bunch of similar material from Pit 2.  That last one is different.

 

Is that moss on the surface?  Was is in one of the acid burned areas?

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

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The second one reminds me of Stigmaria roots that I have seen in coal ball sections. Nice find.

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  • 2 months later...

I put these away in storage and just rediscovered them today. The pyritized specimens had disintegrated quite a bit even though they were in a sealed bag with dessicant packs, oh well. The other "spotted" specimen is unchanged. @stats @bigred97 I did find it in one of the acid burned rivulets. The spots do not appear to be moss or lichens. They were unaffected after a vigorous scrubbing with a toothbrush. I also sanded a tiny patch and the spots were not removed, so I'm fairly certain they are part of the rock. @snails Thanks for your input. The spots definitely reminded me of Stigmaria but I still haven't seen a specimen quite like this one. :headscratch:

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That's a shame the pyritized ones disintegrated. I wonder if they could be coated with some type of protective substance. 

 

Still really puzzled by the last one, but i bet @snails is on the right track.

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17 hours ago, connorp said:

I put these away in storage and just rediscovered them today. The pyritized specimens had disintegrated quite a bit even though they were in a sealed bag with dessicant packs, oh well. The other "spotted" specimen is unchanged. @stats @bigred97 I did find it in one of the acid burned rivulets. The spots do not appear to be moss or lichens. They were unaffected after a vigorous scrubbing with a toothbrush. I also sanded a tiny patch and the spots were not removed, so I'm fairly certain they are part of the rock. @snails Thanks for your input. The spots definitely reminded me of Stigmaria but I still haven't seen a specimen quite like this one. :headscratch:

I know it is the water and oxygen in the air that causes it.  Is a way to stop pyrite/marcasite disease once it starts?  I've heard of pyrite ammonites disintegrating in less than a year.  I have some stuff from the Silica Shale that I've cleaned up.  No progression.  I threw the bad stuff away.

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

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If water and oxygen are the culprits, I wonder if you could store such pieces in a vacuum-sealed container to keep it safe, for example in something like this - 

 

https://www.amazon.com/KCH-06093-Rectangular-Shaped-Vacuum-Sealing-Food-Storage-Containers/dp/B001A5W7L4/ref=sr_1_12?dchild=1&hvadid=78202818633144&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=vacuum+containers&qid=1593454759&sr=8-12&tag=mh0b-20

 

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23 hours ago, stats said:

I know it is the water and oxygen in the air that causes it.  Is a way to stop pyrite/marcasite disease once it starts?  I've heard of pyrite ammonites disintegrating in less than a year.  I have some stuff from the Silica Shale that I've cleaned up.  No progression.  I threw the bad stuff away.

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

I had a similar problem with marcasite specimens and pyritized fossils. I did an experiment recently; I washed them throughly of dirt and dust with water and baking soda solution. I put them in the oven just below the water boiling point to dry them completely and then I sprayed shellac on them on all sides, still no signs of decay after 4 months. The problem is that shellac gives them a unnatural glossy finish, still better than decaying! 

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2 minutes ago, Darbi said:

I had a similar problem with marcasite specimens and pyritized fossils. I did an experiment recently, I sprayed shellac on them on all sides, still no signs of decay after 4 months. The problem is that shellac gives them a unnatural glossy finish, still better than decaying!

Shellac can be removed, right?

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

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1 minute ago, stats said:

Shellac can be removed, right?

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

Yes, with isopropyl alcohol or acetone.

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