Petrified wood is a fossil. First plant material is buried by sediment including volcanic ash, and protected from decay by oxygen and organisms. Once buried, groundwater rich in dissolved solids flows through the sediment replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite or another inorganic material such as opal. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often exhibits preserved details of the bark, wood and cellular structures. Each piece is unique and cannot be replicated. Some specimens of petrified wood are such accurate preservations..
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