The imprint of a leaf was also discovered within the basalt, which was also regarded as remarkable, remembering that the enclosing rock was once molten lava erupted at 1000–1200°C (about 1800–2200°F).So how could these tree trunks have survived being engulfed by molten lava?
Since the tree trunks were entombed in the basalt lava, the wood is thus supposedly at least 30 million years old.
Also, what looked like the tree roots were found in the siltstone below the basalt,3 suggesting the trees when alive were rooted into the siltstone and thus growing on a land surface that was then covered by basalt lava.
This siltstone belongs to the Permian German Creek coal measures, conventionally believed to be around 255 million years old.6 Small fragments of some of the wood samples were kindly sent to us, and a subsequent mine visit took place in late August 1994.7 The pieces of wood recovered by the miners were examined and photographed, as too was the leaf imprint, but access to the ventilation shaft was not possible, nor were samples of the enclosing basalt available, having long been dumped with all the other rubble and waste rock.
However, an exploratory hole had been drilled close to where the shaft was eventually dug.
This was to make sure we at least had some samples of the basalt, just in case permission to have the drill core wasn’t forthcoming.