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The Petrified Forest of Lemnos

The creation of the petrified forest is directly related to the volcanic activity that took place in the broader Aegean region during the Miocene, 20 million years ago. During this period, there was widespread volcanic activity in the NE Aegean and Asia Minor, which resulted the creation of both the Petrified Forest of Lemnos and the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, including the existence of petrified tree trunks in the sea between the two islands.

Volcanic activity is linked to the circulation of hot, silicon dioxide-rich fluids. The fossilization process began when these volcanic fluids entered and permeated the volcanic rocks where the tree trunks were laying and these fluids then replaced the organic plant matter with silicon, molecule by molecule. The plant remnants and trunks of Lemnos are most visible in the pyroclastic formations of Moudros, Romanos, Varos, Kotsinas, and Portianos.

The petrified forest of Lemnos is an example of how the fossilization process can perfectly preserve the external morphological characteristics of the tree trunks, such as annual rings, bark imprints, as well as the internal structure of the fossilized wood, from which the genus or type of the fossilized tree is determined through microscopic examination.

A unique natural monument, the Petrified Forest of Lemnos was declared as a protected nature monument in 2013.

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