Steve Austin and Roger Sanders
“Three depositional models have been offered for the origin of coal: (1) peat swamp model, (2) drift model, and (3) floating mat model. Many paleobotany questions about lycopods and tree ferns had not been solved at the end of the Nineteenth Century, but the 'floating mat model' offered a very robust path to direct research. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the Twentieth Century when the uniformitarian paradigm prevailed, the floating mat model was intentionally suppressed. Now new data from coal petrology indicate that Carboniferous coal is detrital having accumulated underwater, not as a terrestrial swamp deposit. New data and methodology from paleobotany (Sanders and Austin, 2018) show lycopsids and tree ferns were capable of forming living floating mats able to support the trunks. Paleobotany of coal plants should now be best understood as supporting a floating raft that deposited the detritus that now forms Carboniferous coal beds. We present here for the first time a three-hundred-year historical survey of the notion that coal accumulated from floating vegetation mats.” Online, see link below. Presented at the International Creation Conference 2018.
JGL note: The floating "mat model" has been considered consistent with the worldwide Noah Flood by Austin and others. Dr Austin received his PhD in geology at Penn State. He studied coal formation.