Petrified Forest, Written for a Freshman level Geography Class.

Essay by abashamUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2003

download word file, 2 pages 3.3

Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forests located in Arizona and has six forests of petrified wood in the park. Some of the "stone" wood is 6 foot around and 100 feet long (CD . 2002). One of the logs even forms a natural archway that looks like a bridge. There are many sources for learning about petrified wood. Some of the sources I found helpful were books, internet sources, and the encyclopedia all including information about Petrified Forest National Park.

The wood is made up of tree trunks and fallen logs that were buried in volcanic ash, mud, or sand ages ago and have turned into stone. There is no bark or limbs on the trees, but the wood has been reserved so well that you can still see insect tunnels and lightning scars. The petrifying process is caused by "water that carries dissolved mineral matter" (Tidwell, 1999. p.

328). The water infiltrates the mud and sand into the buried logs where it fills up the empty cells of the rotting logs. The water is full of silica that it dissolved from volcanic ash. As the silica water fills up the cells of the logs it crystallizes into mineral quarts or opal (Trees to Stone, p.2). Making the logs even more beautiful, iron rich mineral deposits seeped into the logs during the fossilization process and a rainbow of colors became a permanent masterpiece for us to see. This process fossilizes the log in such an exact way that the surface of the log is exactly as it was millions of years ago.

One might ask, if these logs were buried about 250 million years ago, how are we able to see them today? Well, thousands of the logs are probably still buried, but some of the logs were brought...