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Grand Canyon   London Bridge    Morenci Mine    Petrified Forest   Titan Missile
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- Petrified Forest and Painted Desert Page 2 -
A Travelling Days Website

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The one natural feature most people come to see at Petrified Forest is the remains of trees, now over 225 million years old, that were turned to stone (right and below). But the scenery surrounding these trees is equally as interesting since it has been shaped by millions of years of deposition, uplift, and erosion. Petrified Forest is situated near the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau with elevations ranging from 5300 feet to 6235 feet. It was the uplift of the Colorado Plateau and the subsequent erosion that carved the present landscape. (Information with acknowledgement to the US National Parks Service)

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Contrasting scenery in the main area of the Petrified Forest (previous page) and the coloured strata of the Painted Desert situated in the northern part of the Forest park.
'Exposed in large sections of the park are hills of colorful mudstones and clays of the Painted Desert. These hills, also known as 'badlands', are composed of bentonite, a layered mudstone that is rich in altered volcanic ash. The clay minerals in the bentonite can absorb water to as much as seven times their dry volume. This property of the clay causes rapid erosion and prevents most vegetation from growing on the slope of the hills.
Other prominent features also created by erosion are mesas and buttes. Both have flat tops of more erosion-resistant sandstone over softer clays. The difference between them are that mesas are quite broad but not very tall while buttes are taller and narrower.' (Information and text with acknowledgement to the US National Parks Service)

Views over the Painted Desert (above and below)

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Petrified Forest Page 1
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