Moqui Marbles, Shaman Stones, Navajo Sandstone Concretions
by Sally L Potter
(Salt Lake City, UT, USA)
I am a scientist who conducts research on Navajo Sandstone concretions. A few weeks ago, I revisited a former study area of mine and found this site had been raked clean of concretions. I was horrified to find a unique site of critical scientific importance destroyed.
I decided to write to people who sell and/or use these to educate them about why these concretions are a scientific resource and why they should not be disturbed.
Concretions hold the key to understanding diagenesis (i.e., what happens between the time sediments are deposited and when the rock is uplifted and exposed).
Concretions can help us understand ground water better - water that we use for drinking and irrigation and need to keep clean. They also provide clues to understanding oil and gas reserves and subsurface carbon dioxide sequestration (to combat global warming) - industries that create well-paying jobs in the western U.S. Concretions may even help us to understand how life came to be on this planet.
When I found this site destroyed, I was stunned by the short-sightedness and selfishness of this act. Apart from that, this act is also illegal because it occurred within protected lands. (Nearly all large concentrations of Navajo Sandstone concretions are on protected lands.) Please reconsider selling/using these because it is a resource we can never recover and the scientific knowledge that we might gain from this particular site is now gone forever.
Please realize that although the ones you sell/use may not have come from this particular site, you can be sure that they came from equally critical sites that are now ruined.