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Petrified Log That Looks Like Real Wood

© Copyright 2002, Jess Stryker.  CC-BY-4.0 License.
Very Realistic Petrified Log with Bark.  Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.
The reason some of the petrified logs look so much like real wood is that some of the pigments from the original wood still remain entrapped in the crystals.  This is because the wood was a little less completely crystallized (called “permineralization.”)  Some look very real, other logs crystalized more completely and the original colors were not retained.  In those cases the coloration tends to come from minerals that were in the mud or silt that buried the trees.

The soil layer that contains the petrified wood (called the Chinle Formation)is about 600 meters deep. Thus there may be many, many more petrified logs buried below ground! The entire park is full of fossils of various types.