Petrified Forest National Park

Infobox_protected_area | name = Petrified Forest National Park
iucn_category = II



caption =
locator_x = 65
locator_y = 107
location = Apache County & Navajo County, Arizona, USA
nearest_city = Holbrook
lat_degrees = 35
lat_minutes = 03
lat_seconds = 58
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 109
long_minutes = 46
long_seconds = 51
long_direction = W
area = 218,553 acres (341.5 sq mi / 885 km²)
established = January 1, 1962
visitation_num = 581,681
visitation_year = 2006
governing_body = National Park Service

Petrified Forest National Park is along Interstate 40 between Holbrook and Navajo, in the United States. It features one of the world's largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood, mostly of the species "Araucarioxylon arizonicum".

The park consists of two large areas connected by a north–south corridor. The northern area encompasses part of the multihued badlands of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation called the "Painted Desert". The southern area includes colorful terrain and several concentrations of petrified wood. Several American Indian petroglyph sites are also found in the southern area. Near the south end of the park is Agate House, a Native American building of petrified wood, reconstructed during the 1930s.

tatus

The Petrified Forest area was designated a National Monument on December 8, 1906. The Painted Desert was added later. On December 9, 1962, the whole monument was made a national park. [ [http://www.frommers.com/destinations/petrifiedforestandpainteddesert/1936010001.html Frommer's Arizona 2008.] "Introduction to Petrified Forest and Painted Desert"] [ [http://www.nps.gov/pefo/planyourvisit/brief-administrative-history.htm National Park Service website, Petrified Forest National Park page] "Brief Administrative History"] It covers 218,533 acres (341.5 sq mi; 885 km²). Hiking opportunities are varied: the longest established trail in the park extends for only two miles; the others are one mile (1.6 km) or less, but there are exciting backcountry possibilities. The majority of the northern section of the Painted Desert is designated wilderness land accessible to anyone who wants to explore the stark, colorful, moonscapes of the badlands. This surreal playground is easily entered by a wilderness access trail at Kachina Point/The Painted Desert Inn. After a series of switchbacks the trail fades and visitors may explore wherever they would like. No permit is needed for day hikes, but a free overnight permit must be obtained at any of the visitor's centers for overnight adventures. A convert|28|mi|km|sing=on long road runs through much of the park. Landmarks include the Agate House, built of petrified wood, and the Agate Bridge, a petrified log spanning a wash.

Petrification

The pieces of permineralized wood are fossil Araucariaceae, a family of trees that is extinct in the Northern Hemisphere but survives in isolated stands in the Southern Hemisphere. During the Late Triassic, this desert region was located in the tropics and was seasonally wet and dry. In seasonal flooding, the trees washed from where they grew and accumulated in sandy river channels, where they were buried periodically by layers of gravely sand, rich in volcanic ash from volcanoes further to the west. The volcanic ash was the source of the silica that helped to permineralize the buried logs, replacing wood with silica, colored with oxides of iron and manganese. Several major and many smaller concentrations of petrified wood occur in the park, corresponding to several stratigraphic intervals in the Sonsela Member and aptly named Petrified Forest Member of the Chinle Formation. The major concentrations have been termed "forests" (e.g. Rainbow Forest, Crystal Forest, Black Forest, etc.) although the vast majority of the fossil tree trunks are preserved in a prone position and have been transported at least some distance from their original growth areas. However, in-place stumps of trees do occur in several areas (not easily accessible to the casual visitor), and many of the logs probably did not travel far before burial.

The Chinle Formation at Petrified Forest National Park also has produced abundant fossil leaves, vertebrates (including giant crocodile-like reptiles called phytosaurs, large salamander-like amphibians called metoposaurs, some of the earliest dinosaur fossils from North America), and invertebrates (including freshwater snails and clams).

Much of the striking banded coloration of the Chinle Formation badlands that make up the Painted Desert region is due to soil formation (pedogenesis) during the Late Triassic. These paleosols (ancient soils) preserve evidence of conditions during the Triassic including the nature of the landscape and the paleoclimate. The Chinle paleosols suggest that the climate was dramatically seasonal, with distinct very wet and very dry seasons. This climate was probably similar to the modern monsoon of the Indian Ocean region, and was characteristic of tropical areas of Late Paleozoic and Early Mesozoic Earth when all the continents had assembled to form the supercontinent Pangaea.

Theft

Theft of petrified wood has remained a problem despite protection and despite the fact that nearby vendors sell wood collected legally from private land. Despite a guard force of seven National Park Service rangers, fences, warning signs, and the threat of a $275 fine, about 12 to 14 tons of the fossil wood disappears from the Petrified Forest every year.

Gallery

ee also

*List of areas in the National Park System of the United States
*Petrified Forest

References

External links

* [http://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm National Park Service website]
* [http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/amsw/ American Southwest, a National Park Service "Discover Our Shared Heritage" Travel Itinerary]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Petrified Forest National Park — Petrified Forest Nationalpark Verkieseltes Holz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Petrified Forest National Park —   [ petrɪfaɪd fɔrɪst næʃnl pɑːk], Nationalpark in Arizona, USA, im Osten der wüstenhaften Painted Desert, 379 km2; aufgebaut v. a. aus Sandsteinen der Trias, die stark erodiert sind; eingelagert sind verkieselte Baumstämme u. a. Gewächse. Ruinen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Petrified Forest National Park — Parc national de Petrified Forest Petrified Forest Nom Parc national Emplacement Ar …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Petrified Forest National Park — Sp Suakmenėjusio Miško nacionãlinis párkas Ap Petrified Forest National Park L JAV (Arizona) …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Petrified Forest National Park — national park in Arizona (USA) where the trunks of trees have turned to stone as a result of heavily mineral laden water …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Petrified Forest National Park — a national park in E Arizona: buried tree trunks turned to stone by the action of mineral laden water. 147 sq. mi. (381 sq. km). * * * National park, eastern Arizona, U.S. Established as a national monument in 1906 and as a national park in 1962 …   Universalium

  • Petrified Forest National Park — noun a national park in Arizona having the world s largest collection of petrified coniferous trees • Instance Hypernyms: ↑national park • Part Holonyms: ↑Arizona, ↑Grand Canyon State, ↑AZ * * * a national park in E Arizona: buried tree trunks… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Petrified Forest National Park — Pet′rified For′est Na′tional Park′ n. geg a national park in E Arizona: buried tree trunks turned to stone by the action of mineral laden water. 147 sq. mi. (381 sq. km) …   From formal English to slang

  • Petrified Forest National Park — geographical name reservation E Arizona in Painted Desert containing natural exhibit of petrified wood …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Petrified Forest National Park — This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Petrified Forest National Park. This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Petrified Forest National …   Wikipedia


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