Petrified Forest National Park

Arizona is known for its hot weather and deserts. You usually don't think of forests or trees in Arizona. Visitors to the Painted Desert might be surprised to find the remains of a very old forest. In fact, there is a lot of petrified wood there. There is a national park to preserve it. It is called Petrified Forest National Park.

How does wood become petrified? Three things are needed for this to happen. They are wood, water, and mud. This is the process. A tree dies and falls to the ground. Before the tree can decay, it is covered with mud. The best mud has volcanic ash in it. When the ash begins to decay, it releases chemicals into the air and water. These chemicals react with the wood. Over time, the wood is covered by quartz crystals. This turns the wood into stone. Petrified wood can be many different colors. The colors come from the chemicals that form the crystals. Different chemicals make different colored petrified wood. It is .....

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