Fossil wood in quartzite
Cinola Deposit – Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii)
This is a piece of fossil, or “petrified” wood. Petrified comes from the Greek word for stone, “petros”, and literally means turned to stone.
Petrified wood forms when a mineral, most commonly silica, replaces all the organic content of the wood, preserving the original structure and features of the wood. For this to happen, the wood has to been buried by sediment or ash, which creates an anaerobic, or oxygen-free, environment that stops the normal decay process from happening.
This particular sample comes from the Cinola deposit in Haida Gwaii. The Cinola deposit is an epithermal gold and silver deposit that formed in very similar environment to the modern hotsprings seen around the islands today.
The sample comes from the Skonun Formation of Haida Gwaii. The thick package of sedimentary rocks is up to 600m thick in places and includes lahar (mud flow) layers. The lahars contain fossil wood fragments that range in size from a few centimetres (like this one) up to entire logs. Quartzite, the rock surrounding the wood fragment, forms when pure quartz sandstone is heated, compacted and cemented, making it very hard and resistant to weathering.
Store: Association for Mineral Exploration (AME)
Accession #: AME-1002
Primary Fossil: Fossil Wood
Secondary Mineral: Quartzite
Site Locality: Cinola Deposit
Location: Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), British Columbia
Special Features: n/a