Petrified wood.

Petrified wood.

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Credit: KAJ R. SVENSSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Petrified wood. Petrifaction is a term used to describe the fossilisation of wood. It occurs when pieces of wood, such as this sectioned log, fall into sediments and are rapidly covered. Over a long period of time, the wood decays. As it decays, the wood is replaced by minerals which are deposited from solution in ground water. This forms a perfect replica of the original, even down to its growth 'rings'. This example comes from Columbia Gorge, Washington State, USA.

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Keywords: fossil, fossils, log, palaeontology, paleontology, petrifaction, petrified, petrified log, plant, plants, wood

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