Metasedimentary rocks of Precambrian X age in and near the Snowy Range wilderness study area of southeastern Wyoming are lithologically and chronologically similar to those on the north shore of Lake Huron in Canada. The rocks in Canada contain major deposits of uranium in quartz-pebble conglomerates near the base of the metasedimentary sequence. Similar conglomerates in the Deep Lake Formation in the Medicine Bow Mountains of southeastern Wyoming are slightly radioactive and may contain deposits of uranium and other valuable heavy metals.
During the summer of 1976, a geological and geochemical pilot study was conducted in the vicinity of Arrastre Lake in the Medicine Bow Mountains to determine the most effective exploration methods for evaluating the uranium potential of the Snowy Range wilderness study area. The area around Arrastre Lake was selected because of the presence of a radioactive lens within a quartz-pebble conglomerate of the Deep Lake Formation. The results of the survey indicate possible uranium mineralization in the subsurface rocks of this formation.
The radon content of the dilute waters of the area is much higher than can be accounted for by the uranium content of the surface rocks. Two sources for the high content of the radon are possible. In either case, the high values of radon obtained in this study are a positive indication of uranium mineralization in the subsurface rocks.
The determination of the radon content of water samples is the recommended geochemical technique for uranium exploration in the area. The determination of uranium in water and in organic-rich bog material is also recommended.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Geological and geochemical investigations of uranium occurrences in the Arrastre Lake area of the Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming