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Mineralogy of Non-Silicified Fossil Wood

Geology Department, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA
Geosciences 2018, 8(3), 85;
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018


The best-known and most-studied petrified wood specimens are those that are mineralized with polymorphs of silica: opal-A, opal-C, chalcedony, and quartz. Less familiar are fossil woods preserved with non-silica minerals. This report reviews discoveries of woods mineralized with calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, various iron and copper minerals, manganese oxide, fluorite, barite, natrolite, and smectite clay. Regardless of composition, the processes of mineralization involve the same factors: availability of dissolved elements, pH, Eh, and burial temperature. Permeability of the wood and anatomical features also plays important roles in determining mineralization. When precipitation occurs in several episodes, fossil wood may have complex mineralogy. View Full-Text
Keywords: fossil wood; mineralogy; paleobotany; permineralization fossil wood; mineralogy; paleobotany; permineralization

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mustoe, G.E. Mineralogy of Non-Silicified Fossil Wood. Geosciences 2018, 8, 85.

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