3D technology transports people 325 million years back in time to a forest in Glasgow

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LONDON, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-first century technology will allow people to explore a prehistoric forest in Scotland that dates back 325 million years.

Cultural custodians Historic Environment Scotland (HES) on Tuesday launched a new 3D digital model of the only site in the world where prehistoric trees have been preserved in their growth positions.

The new digital model allows users to explore Fossil Grove in Glasgow from a unique perspective.

Fossil Grove, situated in Glasgow's Victoria Park, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) comprising the spectacular fossilized remains of 11 Carboniferous Lycopod trees, which are around 325 million years old. The site was discovered in 1887, and has been a popular visitor attraction from the Victorian era to the present day.

Fossil Grove is the only site in the world where such trees have been preserved in their growth positions, and is considered one of the world's first examples of geo-conservation.

The interactive model, which has been made available to view online through Sketchfab has been created through a combination of 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry.

The process has involved taking hundreds of overlapping images which are then combined to create a 3D model, enabling users to explore the site in detail from a range of different angles.

As well as allowing a new way to explore the site, the digital model will also play an important role in protecting Fossil Grove for the future.

Sarah Hamilton, Conservation Scientist at HES, said: "Fossil Grove is a unique geological gem, and we've been working over the past few years to support efforts to conserve and protect the site with the service and expertise of our Conservation Science and Digital Documentation teams."

Hamilton said recent water penetration into the Victorian building that houses the fossils has caused discoloration and decay to some of the exhibits. Enditem

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