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Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

C013/5290

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51.1 MB (4.4 MB compressed)

3456 x 5163 pixels

29.2 x 43.7 cm ⏐ 11.5 x 17.2 in (300dpi)

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Credit

MARK WILLIAMSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK WILLIAMSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona: Giant Logs section. Millions of years ago fallen trees were buried by a mixture of silt, mud and volcanic ash. The sediment isolated them from the influence of the atmosphere and slowed their decay. Silica-laden groundwater seeped through the logs, infusing the cells with silica and replacing the original tissues. Later the silica crystallised into quartz and the logs were preserved as petrified wood. Colours are the result of different minerals in the silica-saturated waters.

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