Three from the Road – no. 9
After visiting the Grand Canyon in October, 2011, we were heading towards Carlsbad, with several stops along the way. The first was Petrified Forest National Park.
Located in northeastern Arizona, the park includes about 146 square miles (380 km2) semi-desert shrub steppe and highly eroded, colorful badlands – part of the Painted Desert. The Petrified Forest is known for fossils, especially the fossils of fallen trees from about 225 million years ago during the Late Triassic. During the Late Triassic, downed trees accumulating in river channels in what became the park were buried periodically by sediment containing volcanic ash. Groundwater dissolved silica (silicon dioxide) from the ash and carried it into the logs, where it formed quartz crystals that gradually replaced the organic matter. Traces of iron oxide and other substances combined with the silica to create varied colors in the petrified wood.1
Petrified Forest National Park