The Cutler Formation in Lisbon Valley, San Juan County, Utah, is composed predominantly of fluvial arkosic sandstones, siltstones, shales, and mudstones that were deposited by meandering streams that flowed across a flood plain and tidal flat close to sea level. Two types of channel deposits are recognized from their sedimentary structures: meandering and distributary. The flood plain was occasionally transgressed by a shallow sea from the west, resulting in the deposition of several thin limestones and marine sandstones. The marine sandstones were deposited as longshore bars. Wind transported sand along the shoreline of the shallow sea, forming a coastal dune field. Marine sandstones and eolian sandstones are more common in the upper Cutler in the southern part of the area, whereas in the central and northern part of the area the formation is predominantly fluvial. Crossbed orientation indicates that Cutler streams flowed S. 67? W. on the the average, whereas marine currents moved sediment S. 36? E. and N. 24? W., and wind transported sand S. 800 E.
The uranium in the Cutler is found in the central and northern part of the area, in the upper part of the formation, in small fluvial sandstone bodies that were deposited predominantly in a distributary environment. No uranium is known in the marine or eolian sandstones. Petrographically, the uranium-bearing sandstones are identical to other Cutler fluvial sandstones except that they contain less calcite and more clay and are slightly coarser grained. Ore formation has modified the host sandstones very little.
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USGS Numbered Series
Depositional environments of the uranium-bearing Cutler Formations, Lisbon Valley, Utah