The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 19, 2013

Explore the secrets of Danville’s petrified rainforest

DANVILLE — The public is invited to a presentation at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Danville Public Library community room, where they will learn the who, what and why of the 300-million-year-old fossilized rainforest near Danville.

The Danville Garden Club will host Scott Elrick, who’s with the Illinois State Geological Survey Department at the University of Illinois, as a speaker for one of its regular meetings.

Elrick, who was part of the initial discovery of the forest in 2007, will present a whirlwind tour of this phenomenon with narrative and photos.

The petrified forest is found in the Herrin coal seam that runs through both the Vermilion Grove mine and the Riola mine in eastern Illinois.

Elrick described what it was like to be in the mine and look up at the forest. “It’s the worm’s-eye view,” he said. “You’re looking up at what the floor of the forest looked like.”

Elrick pointed out that this is the world’s largest intact petrified rain forest. At 4 square miles in area, its sheer size offers an unprecedented view of ancient forest life and diversity. “This forest is significantly bigger than others that were discovered in the past,” Elrick said.

“Danville’s petrified forest is unique because the encapsulated forest is intact on the roof of the mine, just like any forest that you would see today,” he added. “We have learned so much about the variability of the plants and their relationship to each other.”

The discovery process required repeated visits by geologists to the petrified forest since 2007.

“I want to particularly recognize Peabody Energy for their cooperation in allowing the Geological Survey to explore this area over the years, and for always keeping us safe during the process,” Elrick said.

Five petrified forests in addition to the Danville one have been discovered by the international research team. These six tracts span a period of about 2 million years near the end of the Carboniferous period, 359 to 299 million years ago.

Text Only
Local News
  • Program helps Hoopeston Area students HOOPESTON — Karla Coon, the director of Danville Area Community College’s Hoopeston site, and high school principal Larry Maynard presented a new idea to the Hoopeston School Board at Thursday’s meeting.Project Future: Creating the Dream is an extrac

    August 23, 2014

  • Watseka man arrested in shooting incident HOOPESTON — A shooting has taken place in Hoopeston for the second time in as many years.City police officers responded to a report of gun shots just before 2:30 a.m. Friday in the 500 block of East Seminary Street.Chief Mark Drollinger said officers

    August 23, 2014

  • Homeless veterans project hits snag DANVILLE — A $17 million project to house homeless and at-risk veterans was not awarded 65 project-based Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.“We’re trying not to make it a dead i

    August 23, 2014

  • City officials to discuss video gaming cafes DANVILLE — Five to six outside developers have approached city officials about the possibility of opening video gaming cafes. Members of the city council’s Public Services Committee will discuss the issue Tuesday.Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said he’s seek

    August 23, 2014

  • Mildred Christine Utesch Mildred Christine Utesch, 83, peacefully passed away Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. She was born on Dec. 25, 1930, in Georgetown to Andrew and Arzella Acord. In 1951, she married William Albert Utesch, and together they raised their children, William Edwa

    August 23, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    August 22, 2014

  • Donate tennis shoes Sunday

    August 22, 2014

  • Tilton board approves new TIF district

    Village trustees took the first step Thursday toward enticing more economic development in the village by approving an agreement with Moran Economic Development of Edwardsville to create a second tax increment funding district.

    August 22, 2014

  • New program to help Hoopeston Area students

    Karla Coon, the director of Danville Area Community College's Hoopeston site, and high school principal Larry Maynard presented a new idea to the Hoopeston School Board at Thursday's meeting.

    August 22, 2014

  • Man to face trial on battery charges DANVILLE — A local man will be held over for trial in connection with allegations he severely abused an infant last month.Benjamin K. Smith, 25, of Oakwood, appeared in Vermilion County Circuit Court for an afternoon preliminary hearing on charges of

    August 22, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
NDN Video
School serves diabetic girl trashcan pizza Battle of the Butts at the 2014 MTV VMAs! Four-Year-Old Reviews Exclusive Restaurant's $295 Fixed Price Menu Mariah Orders Nick Cannon to Stay Quiet About Divorce Details U.S. Military Strategy Against ISIS The London Zoo holds its annual animal weigh-in VIDEO: Goliath Grouper eats shark in one bite Rapper Almost Walks Off CNN Over Ferguson Coverage 2 American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital Whoa! Jimmy Fallon Shaves Jared Leto's Beard US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Amazing Encounter With Sea Otter Caught on Video Motorcyclist Sticks Landing Sicilian hilltop homes on sale for one euro Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Joel McHale Interviews Chelsea This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World
Must Read