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yet more amber (sorry)



> From: MichaelSpe@aol.com
 
> I agree and Dr. Rigby of Notre Dame, along with partners, has tested amber
> for its diffusion rate.  He found no movement through amber resin.

This is using post taphonomic results.  What about using copal, or 
other recently formed resins?  The diffusion probably happened before the 
amber became compacted and hard.

> Rigby has not found any method to increase O2 levels above todays
> concentration.

OK.  I'm still looking for ways.  Anyone have any more suggestions?  
I would like to know of any possible organic chemistry reactions that 
produce O2 as a by product (perhaps by the dissociation of H2O or '=O' 
groups)., or of any possible electrolytic reaction that might do the 
same..... I haven't done chemistry for a while and I am not sure 
where my books are, but I guess I could look for them.

> From: grenard@herpmed.com

[not sure which came first]

> I agree. There are only two ways of increasing the O2 concentration  ....
> by fractional distillation of liquid air and by use of a molecular sieve bed
> which separates oxygen from nitrogen/other gases and reconcentrates
> same. This is 20th Century technology and did not exist before now.

I seem to remember getting oxygen from simple battery cells... maybe 
I am wrong.  I also remember getting O2 from plant leaves.  Imagine 
the senario.... plants caught in amber produce O2 in sunlight - amber 
is enriched in O2.... at night the amber solidifies and stops all 
gaseous diffusion or entrapment.....result - amber is enriched in O2. 
 This, of course is over simplistic and I am sure full of holes, but 
I still believe that it should be possible to enrich amber in O2.  Is 
there any other source of data to support this enriched atmosphere 
bar the amber?  I would need a lot of supporting evidence before I 
accept this.  I guess I am a born sceptic.

> From: PWSPARKS@aol.com

> High levels of O2.  One thing that one should expect during a time of high O2
> (I think an old reference that I forget said was above 23%) would be a very
> high level of forest (plant) fires.....
>  These remarks were really pointed at the lower level (23%) so O2 levels as
> high as 35% would really experence this in spades. I had the feeling that
> these higher levels would essentially oburn everything up so as to be
> impossible. Comments?

Some people say that forest fires during this period were fairly 
widespread and common, but they are reasonably common today 
too.....at the lower O2 levels.  I can't remember what the values are 
supposed to be for the Carboniferous Period (Pen & Mis for US), but 
they were supposed to be high then too.  Wasn't that based on purely 
isotope abundance evidence?  Long time since I read about all that. 

Also....considering the amount of oxidation of the amber that has 
evidently occurred since its formation (based on colouration), the levels of 
O2 analysed must represent the minimum value... perhaps the value was 
as much as 40%?  Surely the resulting spontaneous combustion of the plant-
life would have kept the value slightly lower?

Please excuse any ridiculous statements I may have made, I am feeling 
my way around here.  BTW whatever happened to all the body fluids of 
the insects trapped in the amber if O2 can't even diffuse through it?

Neil