Geology And Geophysics

Petrified Wood



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The process of petrified wood creation is quite interesting to say the least. Petrified wood is created over a long period of time when a tree essentially turns into stone, namely quartz,  as a result of a complicated process called permineralization. This process takes place over years and years and is similar to the process of the development of deposits of various metals or minerals. According K. Mani, Permineralization is defined as "a process of casts of organisms. Carried by water, these minerals fill the spaces within organic tissue. Because of the nature of the casts, permineralization is particularly useful in studies of the internal structures of organisms, usually of plants". Needless to say, the result of this permineralization is a beautiful piece of stony wood, known as petrified wood. At this point, you are probably wondering where petrified wood can be found, as this is very indicative of the conditions that are required to enable the development of this beautiful product of nature.

Interestingly, petrified wood can be found all over the world. Indeed, countries as diverse as Australia, Canada, Namibia, Egypt, Argentina and Greece all have plenty of petrified wood for people to admire. Many people might not even realize that part of Theodore Roosevelt National Park has a forest filled with beautiful petrified wood. Petrified wood is commonly found in national monuments and famous cultural sites such as Lesvos in Greece and other sites of significance throughout the cultured world. If you are curious about the age of many of these fossilized or petrified conifers, unfortunately tree ring dating technology does not yet exist for these interesting specimens. Nonetheless, tree dating technology only dates back to around thirteen thousand years or so there is no real indication of how old these trees can be,  but rest assured that this amount is far older than 13,000 years. In addition, scientists in Washington have developed a way to create artificial petrified wood in a laboratory. This is a new development and does not comprise a large portion of the petrified wood found in the world. 

It is very clear that petrified wood is an interesting phenomenon and there are lots of famous examples of their presence all over the world. If you are a nature or tree lover, hopefully this article provided you with lots of valuable information about petrified wood that can educate you about nature even more!

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