Most people are under the impression that coal forms slowly in swamps over millions of years. But this view neglects the testimony of tree trunk fossils that cut across many coal layers, known as polystrate fossils. If these tree trunks were buried gradually over thousands of years the top parts of the trees would have rotted away before they could be protected by sediment.
Derek Ager, Professor of Geology at University College of Swansea recognized this when he wrote of trees buried in coal seams, 'If one estimates the total thickness of the British Coal Measures as about 1,000 m, laid down in about 10 million years, then, assuming a constant rate of sedimentation, it would have taken 100,000 years to bury a tree 10 m high, which is ridiculous'.
He then went on to say, 'we cannot escape the conclusion that sedimentation was at times very rapid indeed'.
So the slow-swamp-story should itself be laid to rest.