We moved on through miles of coal-streaked roadcuts, and topographically to somewhat higher ground, where the coal seams were thicker. “As you go westward and upsection, you get more coal, because the rivers, growing older, became more sluggish,” Anita
said. “The floodplains became broader. There was more ponded water. There was more area for vegetation to grow and accumulatelike the lower Mississippi Valley today.” About five miles east of Clearfield, we co-working space amersfoort stopped at a long, high throughcut full of coal. Draglines were working on both sides of the road. We chipped out some samples with rock hammers. The samples had integrity. “This is a hell of a coal,” Anita remarked. “Good commercial coal. To make it, there would have been about three thousand feet of Pennsylvanian stuff on top of it, which has been removed by erosion. Three thousand feet is the amount of overburden that will produce coal of this rank.” Stirred within by all these free B.t.u.s (twelve thousand per pound), I flailed at the cut with my rock hammer and filled a bag with good commercial coal, to take home and bum in my stove. Anita commented that coal co-working space enschede dust was blacking my face. I wiped at it with a bandanna, and asked her, “Did I get it all?” She said, “Good enough for government work.” And we headed up the road.
When the final great pulse of mountain building folded eastern Pennsylvania, the deep burial and tectonic crush may have done wonders for the coal seams there, but all the oil in the country rock was burned black and destroyed. Conodonts were blackened, too. As Anita’s many samplings would prove, conodonts become lighter in color and hue in a westward trend across the state-from black to cordovan to dusky orange to brightening levels of yellow.