"Petrified Wood in Arizona" Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Things to Do Tip by Basaic
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Petrified wood forms through the process of petrification. This process turns the wood into quartz crystal, which is very brittle and shatters. Even though petrified wood is fragile, it is also harder than steel. Petrified wood has beautiful color and detail. Sometimes the petrified wood retains enough of the original cellular structure of the wood to show the grain of the wood. The process of petrification starts with three raw ingredients: wood, water and mud. Petrification of the wood found in the Petrified Forest began during the Triassic Period when the primitive conifers fell to the ground and into the waterways. The logs were then swept downstream with sediment and other debris. The logs in the Petried Forest were deposited in the plain by rivers that originated from the Mogollon Highland volcanic mountain range. That layer of sediment is known today as the Chinle Formation. As the logs were deposited in the plain they were buried with mud and debris, beginning the petrification process. The mud that covered the logs contained volcanic ash, another key ingredient in the petrification process. When the volcanic ash began to decompose it released chemicals into the water and mud. As the water seeped into the wood the chemicals from the volcanic ash reacted to the wood and formed into quartz crystals. As the crystals grew over time, the wood became encased in the crystals which, over millions of years, turned the wood into stone. The best place to see petrified wood is in the Petrified Forest National Park. Take a stroll along the walkways.
Address: P.O. Box 2217, Petrified Forest, AZ 86028
Directions: The Pertified Forest National Park stretches between Interstate 40 and US Highway 180. Take Exit 311 and enter the park from the North or enter from the South via US 180.
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