Multi-Stage Silicification of Pliocene Wood: Re-Examination of an 1895 Discovery from Idaho, USA
AbstractThe 1895 discovery of a petrified tree near Clover Creek in south-central Idaho, USA, attracted worldwide attention and resulted in the naming of a new species of ancient oak, Quercinium pliocaenicum Schuster. For more than a century, the discovery has largely been forgotten, even though specimens reside in reputable museums. Reinvestigation of the locality in 2014/2015 resulted in newly-collected specimens and a wealth of new data. Optical microscopy confirms the cellular anatomy used for the original taxonomic study. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive electron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and cathodoluminescence microscopy reveal details of the mineralization, showing the presence of opal-CT as the primary component, with chalcedony as a lesser constituent. This mineralogy suggests petrifaction occurred in at least two stages, beginning with opalization of cellular tissue, leaving open vessels that became filled with chalcedony during a later mineralization episode. Clover Creek oak represents relict flora growing in a wetter climate before the uplift of the Cascade Range created a rain shadow that caused profound desertification of the inland Pacific Northwest. View Full-Text
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Viney, M.; Dietrich, D.; Mustoe, G.; Link, P.; Lampke, T.; Götze, J.; Rößler, R. Multi-Stage Silicification of Pliocene Wood: Re-Examination of an 1895 Discovery from Idaho, USA. Geosciences 2016, 6, 21.
Viney M, Dietrich D, Mustoe G, Link P, Lampke T, Götze J, Rößler R. Multi-Stage Silicification of Pliocene Wood: Re-Examination of an 1895 Discovery from Idaho, USA. Geosciences. 2016; 6(2):21.Chicago/Turabian Style
Viney, Mike; Dietrich, Dagmar; Mustoe, George; Link, Paul; Lampke, Thomas; Götze, Jens; Rößler, Ronny. 2016. "Multi-Stage Silicification of Pliocene Wood: Re-Examination of an 1895 Discovery from Idaho, USA." Geosciences 6, no. 2: 21.
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