3.9" Yellow Calcite Filled Septarian Nodule Half - Utah

This is a yellow calcite filled septarian nodule half mined west of Orderville, Utah. Most of the material you see sold has been cut and polished, but this is in it's rough state as broken. It displays nicely on the accompanied acrylic display stand.

While this specimen doesn't contain a cavity, it would make an excellent specimen for polishing.

Septarian or septarian nodules are concretions containing angular cavities or cracks, called "septaria", filled with calcite and aragonite. A concretion is a hard, compact mass of rock that often forms around decaying organic matter. In the case of septarian nodules, the concretions formed around decaying sea-life in a marine environment.

The exact mechanism for how the cracks form in the concretions is a mystery. One possible mechanism is the dehydration of the clay-rich core of a concretion, causing it to shrink and crack. The cracks could also be caused by gas expansion produced by the decaying organic matter within a concretion. Earthquakes have also been suggested as yet another mechanism.

The cracks in the concretions are then filled in with minerals such as calcite (yellow), aragonite (brown), and sometimes pyrite, causing the very interesting patterns. They have often been described as looking like dragon's skin. They are frequently found as geodes with hollow, calcite crystal-filled cavities. More rarely, the fossils that originally started the formation of the concretion are still preserved in the septarian.
Septarian & Calcite
West of Orderville, Utah
Frontier Formation
3.9 x 3.3"