Figure 18.18   Carboniferous wildfi res and the use of the SEM: (a) ancient charcoal can reveal spectacular details under the SEM, such as cross-fi eld pitting, which provides evidence for which species of plants burned; and (b) part of a tree-ring. Note the transition from thin-walled “early wood” (left) to thick-walled “late wood” (center). The rings of growth may indicate a seasonal tropical environment like northern Australia or East Africa. Study of these plant remains and the sediments shows that wildfi res happened every 3 to 35 years, and especially in drier uplands (c). PDP, poorly-drained coastal plain; WDP, well-drained coastal plain. (Courtesy of Howard Falcon-Lang.)

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