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Petrified wood

The image shows the center of a polished slice of a petrified tree from the late Triassic period (approximately 230 million years ago) found in Arizona. The remains of insects can be detected in an enlarged image.
Petrified log in Paleorrota geopark, Brazil
Petrified log at the Petrified Forest National Park
Polished petrified wood
The outline of cells visible in a segment of petrified wood
Polished slice of petrified wood
Petrified logs
Petrified stump exposed at low tide on Ynyslas beach, Wales
Petrified Acacia wood
Puyango petrified forest

Petrified wood (from the Greek root petro meaning "rock" or "stone"; literally "wood turned into stone") is the name given to a special type of decomposes completely.[1] A forest where such material has petrified becomes known as a petrified forest.


  • Elements 1
  • Locations 2
  • Artificial petrified wood 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Elements such as manganese, iron, and copper in the water/mud during the petrification process give petrified wood a variety of color ranges. Pure quartz crystals are colorless, but when contaminants are added to the process the crystals take on a yellow, red, or other tint.

Following is a list of contaminating elements and related color hues:

Petrified wood can preserve the original structure of the stem in all its detail, down to the microscopic level. Structures such as tree rings and the various tissues are often observed features.

Petrified wood is a fossil in which the organic remains have been replaced by minerals in the slow process of being replaced with stone. This petrification process generally results in a quartz chalcedony mineralization. Special rare conditions must be met in order for the fallen stem to be transformed into fossil wood or petrified wood. In general, the fallen plants get buried in an environment free of oxygen (anaerobic environment), which preserves the original plant structure and general appearance. The other conditions include a regular access to mineral rich water in contact with the tissues, replacing the organic plant structure with inorganic minerals. The end result is petrified wood, a plant, with its original basic structure in place, replaced by stone. Exotic minerals allow the rare red and green hues that can be seen in more rare specimens.


Areas with a large number of petrified trees include:

Artificial petrified wood

Artificial petrified wood has been produced in a Washington laboratory. In the process, small cubes of pine are soaked in an acid bath for two days, then in a silica solution for another two. The product is then cooked at 1400 °C in an argon atmosphere for two hours. The result was silicon carbide ceramic which preserved the intricate cell structure of the wood.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ Petrified Forest National Park - Frequently Asked Questions from the U.S. National Park Service
  2. ^
  3. ^ "A petrified forrest near Hoegaarden". 
  4. ^ Petrified trees and the forest region (Brazil).
  5. ^ FAPESP Research Magazine - Edition 210 - August 2013
  6. ^ Anon. "The Petrified Forest of Puyango". Viva travel guides. Viva. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Jurassic age plant fossil found near Dholavira". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Petrified Wood Forest located in Ban Tak, Thailand
  10. ^ Campbell, J.A.; Baxter M.S. (29 March 1979). "Radiocarbon measurements on submerged forest floating chronologies". Nature (Nature Publishing Group) 278 (5703): 409–413.  
  11. ^ Petrified Wood in Days,, January 25, 2005
  12. ^ Presto! Instant Petrified Wood Created in Lab, Live Science, 27 January 2005

External links

  • The Petrified forest of Lesvos - Protected Natural Monument
  • The Town Museum of Nová Paka
  • The Mississippi Petrified Forest
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