Uranium at the Dennison-Bunn claim, south of Cuba, N. Mex., along the east margin of the San Juan Basin, occurs in unoxidized gray, fluvial channel sandstone of the Westwater Canyon Member of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation. The uranium-bearing sandstone is bounded on the north and south by a variable zone of buff and orange sandstone. Within the mineralized zone, the uranium has been remobilized and reconcentrated along the margins of numerous smaller tongues of oxidized rock in a configuration similar to that found in roll-type uranium deposits. In cross section, these small-scale features are zoned; they have an inner, pale orange, oxidized core, a mineralized redox rim cemented with hematite(?), and an outer-shell of -gray, slightly to moderately mineralized rock. The uranium content in the mineralized rock ranges from 0.001 to 0.07 percent U3O8. The uranium, at this locality, is believed to have originated within the Westwater Canyon Member or to have been derived from the overlying Brushy Basin Member. Based on observed outcrop relations, two hypotheses are proposed for explaining the origin of the occurrence. Briefly these hypotheses are: (1) the mineralized zone represents the remnant of an original roll-type uranium deposit, formed during early Eocene time, which has undergone subsequent oxidation with remobilization and redeposition of uranium around the margins of smaller tongues of oxidized rock; and (2) the mineralized zone represents the remnant of an original tabular deposit which has undergone subsequent oxidation with remobilization and redeposition of uranium around the margins of smaller tongues of oxidized rock.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
A preliminary report on the geology of the Dennison-Bunn uranium claim, Sandoval County, New Mexico