Ancient Chinese forest found under volcanic ashFebruary 22nd, 2012 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Feb 22 (IANS) A forest in north China that was preserved under a layer of volcanic ash deposited nearly 300 million years ago has been found.The fossil forest, located in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is compared to the Italian city of Pompeii in a paper published Tuesday on the website of US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reported Xinhua.
Pompeii was buried under ash after a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.
The subtropical forest covers an area of 20 sq km and researchers have been able to reconstruct 1,000 sq meters of its trees and plants, said Wang Jun, head of the research team.
It is in good condition as the volcano erupted for only a few days, sparing the plants from too much force and preserving many of them the way they were, Wang said.
Researchers found trees still standing upright with leaves, branches and trunks intact in an ash layer dating back to 298 million years ago.
The group of scientists, including Hermann Pfefferkorn from the University of Pennsylvania, worked with a painter to reconstruct what the forest areas would have looked like.
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Tags: forest areas, fossil forest, hermann pfefferkorn, inner mongolia autonomous region, italian city, journal proceedings, million years, national academy of sciences, north china, pompeii, proceedings of the national academy, proceedings of the national academy of sciences, sq meters, subtropical forest, trees and plants, university of pennsylvania, volcanic ash, volcanic eruption, wang jun, xinhua