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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Petrified Wood Slab

My first slab of petrified wood.

Note the beautiful colours of the polished side:

The unpolished back:

Petrified wood (from the Greek root "petro" meaning "rock" or "stone", literally "wood turned into stone") is a type of fossil: it consists of fossil wood where all the organic materials have been replaced with minerals (most often a silicate, such as quartz), while retaining the original structure of the wood. The petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried under sediment and is initially preserved due to a lack of oxygen. Mineral-rich water flowing through the sediment deposits minerals in the plant's cells and as the plant's lignin and cellulose decay away, a stone mould forms in its place. It probably takes less than 100 years for wood to petrify.

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