SIA0277: Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park

Photographer:Calvin J. Hamilton
Copyright:© 2003 Calvin J. Hamilton
Location:Petrified Forest, Arizona

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The Painted Desert Distric of the Petrified Forest National Park stretches some 50,000 acres (20,235 hectars) of colorful mesas, butes, and badlands. Beyond the boundaries of the park, the Painted Desert runs west and north in a great arc, extending past the horizon almost to the edges of the Grand Canyon.

The Chinle Formation of the Painted Desert contains an invaluable record of Triassic plants and animals. Initally preserved for its scenic vistas, Petrified Forest National Park has become an important resource to the scientific community by protecting a storehouse of fossils and geologic treasures.

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