This map of the Richfield 1° x 2° quadrangle, Utah, shows the regional distribution of gold in the less-than-0.180-mm (minus-80-mesh) fraction of stream sediments. It is part of a folio of maps of the Richfield 1° x 2° quadrangle, Utah, prepared under the Conterminuous United States Mineral Assessment Program. Other published geochemical maps in this folio are listed in the Selected References of this report.
The Richfield quadrangle is located in west-central Utah and includes the eastern part of the Pioche-Marysvale igneous and mineral belt, which extends from the vicinity of Pioche in southeastern Nevada, east-northeastward for 155 miles into central Utah. The western two-thirds of the Richfield quadrangle is part of the Basin and Range province, whereas the eastern third is part of the High Plateaus of Utah, a subprovince of the Colorado Plateau.
Bedrock in the northern part of the Richfield quadrangle consists predominantly of Late Proterozoic and Paleozoic sedimentary strata that were thrust eastward during the Sevier orogeny in Cretaceous time onto an autochthon of Mesozoic sedimentary rocks located in the eastern part of the quadrangle. The southern part of the quadrangle is largely underlain by Oligocene and younger volcanic rocks and related intrusions. Extensional tectonism in late Cenozoic time broke the bedrock terrain into a series of north-trending fault blocks; the uplifted mountain areas were eroded to various degrees and the resulting debris was deposited in adjacent basins. Most of the mineral deposits in the Pioche-Marysvale mineral belt were formed as a result of igneous activity in the middle and late Cenozoic time. A more complete description of the geology and a mineral-resource appraisal of the Richfield quadrangle appears in Steven and Morris (1984 and 1987).
The regional sampling program was designed to define broad geochemical patterns and trends that can be utilized along with geological and geophysical data to assess the mineral-resource potential for this quadrangle. Reconnaissance geochemical surveys are valuable tools in mineral exploration, especially when used in conjunction with data obtained from other earth science disciplines. Identifying specific exploration targets generally involves additional, more detailed investigations.