Geologic Processes of Evolution

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Carbonization
Petrifaction
Replacement
Recrystallization
Soft-Tissue Preservation
Mummification
Organic Traps
Tar
Peat Moss


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Fossilization Process

Petrifaction

Another common mode of preservation of plants is petrifaction, which is the crystallization of minerals inside cells. One of the best-known forms of petrifaction is silicification, a process in which silica-rich fluids enter the plant's cells and crystallize, making the cells appear to have turned to stone (petrified). Famous examples of silicification may be found in the petrified forests of the western United States (see Petrified Forest National Park). Petrifaction may also occur in animals when minerals such as calcite, silica, or iron fill the pores and cavities of fossil shells or bones.