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Painted Desert Rustic Horizon View

August 30, 2022

A rustic nature's view of the Painted Desert to the horizon in the north portion of the Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert is known for its brilliant and varied colors that include the more common red rock with shades of lavender. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. National Park Service photo by Stuart Holmes.)
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A rustic nature's view of the Painted Desert to the horizon in the north portion of the Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert is known for its brilliant and varied colors that include the more common red rock with shades of lavender.

The Petrified Forest National Park encloses 221,390 acres with over 10,000 years of human history within the park, including over 800 archeological and historic sites. The Chinle Formation of the Triassic Period (about 225 million years ago) is the main geologic formation of the park. The Bidahochi Formation outcrops in the north, laid down during the Miocene and Pliocene of the Quaternary Period, about 3-8 million years ago. The brilliant colors in the petrified wood come mainly from three minerals. Pure quartz is white, manganese oxides form blue, purple, black, and brown, and iron oxides provide hues from yellow through red to brown.

Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. National Park Service photo by Stuart Holmes.

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