This study applies mineral-solution equilibrium methods to the interpretation of ground-water chemistry in evaluating the uranium potential of the Beaver and Milford basins in west central Utah. Waters were collected mainly from wells and springs at 100 sites in limited areas in the basins, and in part from mixed sources. The waters were analysed for T, pH, alkalinity, specific conductance, SO4, Cl, F, NO3, Ca, Mg, Na, K, SiO2, Zn, Cu, Mo, As, U, V, Se, Li, Fe, Mn, and Al on different fractions. A computer model (WATEQ3) was used to calculate the redox potential and the state of saturation of the waters with respect to uraninite, coffinite, realgar and arsenopyrite. Mineral saturation studies have reliably predicted the location of known (none given here) U deposits and are more diagnostic of these deposits than are concentrations of indicator elements (U, Mo, As, Se). Several areas in the basins have ground-water environments of reducing redox potential, favourable for precipitation of reduced U minerals, and some of these areas are saturated or near-saturated with respect to uraninite and coffinite. The approach shows only that the environment is favourable locally for precipitation of reduced U minerals, but thereby locates exploration targets for (modern?) sandstone-hosted U deposits.-G.J.N.
Additional publication details
Application of mineral-solution equilibria to geochemical exploration for sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in two basins in west central Utah.