Radioactive source materials in Los Estados Unidos de Venezuela

Trace Elements Investigations 222

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DOI: 10.3133/tei222



This report summarizes the data available on radioactive source materials in Los Estados Unidos de Venezuela accumulated by geologists of the Direccions Tecnica de Geolgia and antecedent agencies prior to June 1951, and the writers from June to November 1951.

The investigation comprised preliminary study, field examination, office studies, and the preparation of this report, in which the areas and localities examined are described in detail, the uranium potentialities of Venezuela are summarized, and recommendations are made. Preliminary study was made to select areas and rock types that were known or reported to be radioactive or that geologic experience suggests would be favorable host for uranium deposits, In the office, a study of gamma-ray well logs was started as one means of amassing general radiometric data and of rapidly scanning many of ye rocks in northern Venezuela; gamma-ray logs from about 140 representative wells were examined and their peaks of gamma intensity evaluated; in addition samples were analyzed radiometrically, and petrographically.

Radiometic reconnaissance was made in the field during about 3 months of 1951, or about 12 areas, including over 100 localities in the State of Miranda, Carabobo, Yaracuy, Falcon, Lara, Trujillo, Zulia, Merida, Tachira, Bolivar, and Territory Delta Amacuro. During the course of the investigation, both in the filed and office, information was given about geology of uranium deposits, and in techniques used in prospecting and analysis. All studies and this report are designed to supplement and to strengthen the Direccion Tecnica de Geologias's program of investigation of radioactive source in Venezuela now in progress.

The uranium potentialities of Los Estados de Venezuela are excellent for large, low-grade deposits of uraniferous phospahtic shales containing from 0.002 to 0.027 percent uranium; fair, for small or moderate-sized, low-grade placer deposits of thorium, rare-earth, and uranium minerals; poor, for high-grade hydrothermal pitchblende deposits; and highly possible for small, medium- to high-grade despots of carnotite-or copper-uranium bearing sandstone.

Recommendations for the Venezuelan uranium program include 1) the systematic collection of a mass general radiometric data by examining sample collections, expanding the gamma-ray program, encouraging the use of Geiger counter by field geologists, and by enlisting the aid of the general public; 2) , the examination of specific areas or localities, chosen on the basis of geologic favorability from the results of the amassing of data, or obtained by hints and rumors; 3), the organization of a unit within the Direccion Tecnica de Geologica to direct, collection, and collate metric data.

It is emphasized that to be most fruitful the program requires the application of sounds and imaginative geologic theory.

Study Area

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USGS Numbered Series
Radioactive source materials in Los Estados Unidos de Venezuela
Series title:
Trace Elements Investigations
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U.S. Geological Survey
116 p.