Eden Valley Petrified Wood was formed from plants living about 50 million years ago and the rock exhibits feature not found in fossil wood anywhere else in the world. Wyoming is a state rich in fossil wood and has several petrified forests. The petrified wood from one forest is known to collectors as Eden Valley Petrified Wood and is named after the town of Eden, Wyoming. Eden is located in the west-central part of the state and is in the center of the 80-mile long area where the fossil wood is found. Three collecting areas are well known.
The Blue Forest collecting area is on the west end of the deposit about 30 miles west of Farson. The fossil wood found in this area is known for the light blue agate surrounding many of the pieces. The Big Sandy Reservoir is located just north of Farson. This area is known for Petrified Palm Wood. On the eastern end of the deposit, fossil wood is found around Oregon Buttes just east of South Pass, Wyoming. Oregon Buttes is a major landmark on the Oregon Trail.
Eden Valley Petrified Wood was formed from plants living about 50 million years ago and the rock exhibits feature not found in fossil wood anywhere else in the world. The petrifaction process for this area involved shallow “algae growing” lakes. In many cases, for undetermined reasons, the wood came to be in this water in its live condition before it had a chance to dry out and look like old deadwood.
This wood became coated with algaeich adhered to the surface making a cast or mold around the wood. Later the wood dried and shrunk in the mold made of algae. Over time these algae casts became part of a layered rock formation. Silica-rich water solutions seeping through the rock then petrified the wood and filled in the spaces left between the dried wood and the hardened cast with agate, calcite, and quartz
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