Over 800 mud-filled casts of upright lycopsid tree stumps have been documented immediately above the Mahoning coal in an active underground mine located in northwestern Jefferson County, Ohio. The coal body originated as a pod-shaped peat body of ??? 60 km2. Trees are rooted at several levels within a thin (15-40 cm) bone coal directly above the banded coal; they extend upward up to 15 cm into overlying, flat-bedded, carbonaceous mudstones that coarsen up. From a maximum basal diameter of 1.2 m, stumps taper upward to diameters no less than 0.3 m. Within single-entry transects, < 6 m wide that total 2585 m in length, stumps are randomly distributed. The trees are identified as lepidodendrids on the basis of gross morphology, external stem patterns, and attached stigmarian root systems, and provisionally as Lepidophloios or Lepidodendron by associated palynology of the enclosing matrix. Palynological analyses of incremental seam samples indicate an initial dominance of lycopsid spores with lepidodendracean affinities (Lycospora granulata from Lepidophloios hallii), replaced upwards by tree-fern spores, with a reoccurrence of lepidodendracean spores in the upper benches; spores of Sigillaria (Crassispora) are abundant only at the base of the coal. Petrographic analyses indicate a parallel trend from vitrinite-rich to inertinite- and liptinite-rich upward in the coal body. All data indicate that the peat represented by the Mahoning coal was drowned slowly. During the earliest stages of inundation, a lycopsid forest was re-established, only to be subsequently drowned.
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A drowned lycopsid forest above the Mahoning coal (Conemaugh Group, Upper Pennsylvanian) in eastern Ohio, U.S.A