A study of the distribution of elements in the Salt Wash member of the Morrison formation of Jurassic age from samples taken in the Jo Dandy area, Montrose County, Colo., was made to determine average chemical composition of mudstone and sandstone and to determine the magnitude of variations in concentrations of elements within similar rock types. Analytical data were obtained by semiquantitative spectrographic and radiometric methods.
Results of the study show that variations in concentrations of about 20 elements commonly detected by semiquantititive spectrographic analyses of sedimentary rocks are small for a specific rock type; therefore, considerable confidence may be placed upon the average chemical appears to be no significant relation between chemical composition of mudstone or sandstone and distance from known uranium-vanadium ore or mineralization rock.
Mudstone generally contains greater concentrations of the elements studied than sandstone. The chemical composition of red mudstone is similar to the chemical composition of green mudstone except that red mudstone was found to contain almost twice as much calcium as green mudstone in the Jo Dandy area.
Samples of the unoxidized sandstone from the Jo Dandy area contain about twice as much calcium, three times as much strontium, but only about one-half as much as zirconium as oxidized sandstone; except for these elements the chemical compositions of both categories of sandstone are similar. Samples of sandstone of the Salt Wash member in the Jo Dandy area contain more potassium, magnesium, vanadium, and nickel than “average sandstone” of the Salt Wash member.
The distribution of bismuth in rocks of the Jo Dandy area suggests that bismuth and perhaps part of the potassium and magnesium found in rocks of the Salk Wash member were either derived from solutions which ascended from the underlying salt- and gypsum-bearing Paradox member that was incorporated with rocks of the Salt Wash during sedimentation.