Arizona – The Crystal Forest

The Crystal Forest is so named because many of the logs found here contained clear quartz and purple amethyst crystals making for beautiful logs. Unfortunately, souvenir hunters helped themselves long ago, taking the best samples away. A few crystallized logs remain but the more typical petrified logs are more abundant. The disappearance of the crystal logs led to the area’s ultimate protection as a National Monument in 1906 and finally a National Park in 1962.

Arizona  - The Crystal Forest

Arizona – The Crystal Forest

Arizona  - The Crystal Forest - From Petrified Wood to Crystal

Arizona – The Crystal Forest – From Petrified Wood to Crystal

It took a while, but we now move on to another state …..

 

Arizona – Petrified Forest – From Wood to Stone

Arizona - Petrified Forest - From Wood to Stone

Arizona – Petrified Forest – From Wood to Stone

Arizona - Petrified Forest - Wood to Stone Images

Arizona – Petrified Forest – Wood to Stone Images

Petrified wood (from the Greek root petro meaning “rock” or “stone”; literally “wood turned into stone”) is the name given to a special type of fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation. It is the result of a tree or tree-like plants having completely transitioned to stone by the process of permineralization. All the organic materials have been replaced with minerals (mostly a silicate, such as quartz), while retaining the original structure of the stem tissue. The petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried under sediment and is initially preserved due to a lack of oxygen which inhibits aerobic decomposition. Mineral-laden water flowing through the sediment deposits minerals in the plant’s cells; as the plant’s lignin and cellulose decay, a stone mold forms in its place. The organic matter needs to become petrified before it decomposes completely. A forest where such material has petrified becomes known as a petrified forest.

Arizona – Jesper Forest Petrified Wood

Arizona - Jesper Forest Petrified Wood

Arizona – Jesper Forest Petrified Wood

The petrified wood strewn in the Jasper Forest valley was once encased in the surrounding bluffs. When erosional forces removed the softer rocks, the petrified wood tumbled and accumulated on the valley floor.

Arizona – Petrified Forest Formations

Arizona - Jesper Forest

Arizona – Jesper Forest

Arizona - Petrified Forest Formations

Arizona – Petrified Forest Formations

Jasper Forest is a valley filled with the fossil remains of trees.

 The logs are scattered over the desolate valley. Many more existed until pioneers began removing the logs from Jasper Forest by the cart load.

Arizona – Petrified Forest Patterns

Arizona- Petrified Forest Patterns

Arizona- Petrified Forest Patterns

More than 200 million years ago, flourishing trees and vegetation covered much of this area of Northeastern Arizona. But volcanic lava destroyed the forest, and the remains were embedded into sediment comprised of volcanic ash and water.