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- Petrified Forest and Painted Desert Page 1-
A Travelling Days Website

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The Petrified Forest National Park is located in northeast Arizona and contains one of the most colourful concentrations of petrified wood in the world. To be found in the park's 93,533 acres are the multi-hued Chinle Formation known as the Painted Desert, archeological sites and 225 million-year-old fossils. The Forest was designated a National Monument on 8 December 1906 and a National Park on 9 December 1962.

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Petrified Forest was set aside as a national monument in 1906 to preserve and protect the petrified conifers which scatter the area. Some of the logs are more than six feet in diameter. As a result of flooding the original logs became covered with mud. Later, vocanic ash was deposited over them. Water containing a variety of minerals then caused the logs to be fossilised, introducing multicoloured crystals into the cells of the wood which later turned into stone. The logs were brought to the surface by the subsequent Colorado Plateau uplift.
The park also protects the diverse Triassic ecosystem and significant archaeological sites representing several cultures over 10,000 years of occupation.

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Visitors to the park can also see a few ancient Indian buildings and petroglyphs (above, left and below).

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The size of the stratified outcrops may be gauged from the walkers seen to the right of the picture.

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Note the petrified logs in the foreground.

Petrified Forest Page 2
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