Localization of uranium minerals in channel sediments at the base of the Shinarump conglomerate, Monument Valley, Arizona

Trace Elements Investigations 340

This report concerns work done on behalf of the Division of Raw Materials of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission



During the summers of 1951 and 1952 the U.S. Geological Survey mapped the geology and uranium deposits in three 15-minute quadrangles on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Apache and Navajo Counties, northeastern Arizona. Exposed sedimentary rocks range in age from the Halgaito tongue of the Cutler formation (Permian) to the Salt Wash member of the Morrison formation (Jurassic), The dominant structural element of the area is the Monument upwarp, a arge asymmetrical anticline whose northern end is near the junction of the Green and Colorado Rivers in Utah, and whose southern end disappears near Kayenta, Ariz. Asymmetrical anticlines with steeply dipping east flanks and gently dipping west flanks are superimposed on the upwarp. These subsidiary structures trend north. The uranium ore bodies are localized in conglomeratic sandstone of the Upper Triassic Shinarump conglomerate that fills channels scoured in the underlying Lower and Middle (?) Triassic Moenkopi formation. These channels range from relatively narrow and shallow ones 15 feet wide and 10 feet deep to much broader and deeper ones 2,300 feet wide and 70 feet deep. Two types of channels can be distinguished-r-a short-type less than 2 miles Iong 5 and a long-type traceable for distances greater than 2 miles Plant matter in the form of trees, branches,'and twigs was deposited with Shinarump sediments in the channels. It is suggested that when the Shinarump conglomerate was invaded by mineralizing solutions the uranium ore was deposited primarily in localities formerly occupied by the plant material. Further, it is suggested that the short channels are more likely to have ore accumulations than long channels.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Localization of uranium minerals in channel sediments at the base of the Shinarump conglomerate, Monument Valley, Arizona
Series title:
Trace Elements Investigations
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Report: 43 p.; 2 Plates: 29.10 x 17.55 inches and 22.02 x 19.71 inches
United States
Apache County
Other Geospatial:
Monument Valley