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Wood can also be petrified in field settings. During one field experiment, researchers dangled a block of wood down inside an alkaline spring in Yellowstone Park to see what effect this hot, silica-rich environment would have. In just one year, substantial petrification had occurred. I recently read an advertisement in a magazine for real "hardwood floors." The company was petrifying wood commercially. The point is, it does not take long ages to petrify wood, it just takes the right conditions.
Petrification occurs by the replacement, recrystallization or
permineralization of the original plant or animal parts. (Permineralization
just means that mineral material fills the voids in the fossil-to-be rather
than replacing or recrystallizing the original materials). In almost every
case, ground water is the agent that causes petrification and silica and
calcite are the main replacing minerals.
How long it takes for petrification to occur depends on a lot of factors
like pH and temperature, but all things being equal, groundwater saturated
with calcium carbonate(calcite)acts the fastest because calcite is more
soluble than silica or other petrifying minerals. In the parking garage
where I work, which is only 3 years old, 4 inch stalactites have already
formed from rainwater leaching calcium carbonate out of the concrete
So if we accept the fact that petrification occurs as a continuum (in other
words, a gradual process from partial to complete
replacement/recrystallization/permineralization), and we assume the
replacement material is calcite under ideal chemical conditions,
petrification can certainly occur just a few hundred years or even less.
I hope this answers your question! Please let me know if you would like
any clarification or additional information.
John W. Bebout, Ph.D., Sr. Technical Specialist, Oil and Gas, Fluid Minerals Group, Bureau of Land Management
Originally posted by Imagir
The stones themselves are composed of “andesite”, a very, very hard mineral that would make etching quite difficult with primitive tools .
Originally posted by JBA2848
Im just being curious but does anybody know what dinosaur remains might have looked like a quarter million years ago. Were they all petrified the way they are today or were they at that time still remians of a dead animal?
How long does it truley take for something to petrify?