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Geology/Petrified floor board



I found a 6 1/2 inch by 1 1/4 inch by 1/2 inch thick floor board in a stream.  Complete with nail head.  Given the weight and density I am confident that it is petrified  though after searching on internet . . . all petrified wood seems to be not of a man made object.  Up close it sparkles.  It is primarily black or dark brown  and the grain pattern of the wood suggest oak to me.  Have you every heard of such a thing?


Its likely not petrified.  Petrification involves the replacement of the wood fibers with certain minerals, or the filling in of void space in the wood with certain minerals.  For petrification to occur the wood would have to be buried in mud, of a particular chemistry, in the correct pH conditions and at the right temperature for some period of time (there are many arguments in this regard, it could be days or it could a million years).

All the petrified wood I have ever seen has a reddish/yellow/brown color.  

The fact that your nail head is not rusty suggests that the oxygen conditions might be right, but I don't think that the mineralogy of the mud - particularly somewhere in Ohio in the last 100 years - is right to cause petrification.

I suspect the density and mass of the wood is the result of it being saturated with muddy water...

It might be going down the path to petrification, but I don't think it is there yet.

Good luck



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Fraser Hamilton


I have over 15 years of professional experience in the environmental geology field. I am well versed in general geology types of questions and answers. In addition I have a keen understanding of physical stratigraphy (especially in the Valley and Ridge of Central PA) and cycles.


Eight years of education, fifteen years of professional experience. Have worked or studied in ME, PA, TX, KY, IN, TN, OH, WA and Scotland.

Geological Society of America
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Properties Magazine
Cleveland Bar Association
Cleveland Engineering Society

BA Geology/Math, University of Maine at Farmington
MA Geology - Physical Stratigraphy, Temple University
Post Grad Studies Geology - Texas A&M University

Awards and Honors
Distinguished graduate teaching award, Temple University

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