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Distribution of leached radioactive material in the Legin Group Area, San Miguel County, Colorado

Trace Elements Memorandum 171

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DOI: 10.3133/tem171

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Abstract

Radioactivity anomalies, which are small in magnitude, and probably are not caused by extensions of known uranium-vanadium ore bodies, were detected during the gamma-ray logging of diamond-drill holes in the Legin group of claims, southwest San Miguel County, Colo. The positions of these anomalies are at the top surfaces of mudstone strata within, and at the base of, the ore-bearing sandstone of the Salt Wash member of the Morrison formation.


The distribution of these anomalies suggests that ground water has leached radioactive material from the ore bodies and has carried it down dip and laterally along the top surfaces of underlying impermeable mudstone strata for distance as great as 300 feet.


The anomalies are probably caused by radon and its daughter elements. Preliminary tests indicate that radon in quantities up to 10-7 curies per liter may be present in ground water flowing along sandstone-mudstone contacts under carnotite ore bodies. In comparison, the radium content of the same water is less than 10-10 curies per liter.


Further substantiation of the relationship between ore bodies, the movement of water, and the radon-caused anomalies may greatly increase the scope of gamma-ray logs of drill holes as an aid to prospecting.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Distribution of leached radioactive material in the Legin Group Area, San Miguel County, Colorado
Series title:
Trace Elements Memorandum
Series number:
171
DOI:
10.3133/tem171
Year Published:
1950
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
8 p.
Number of Pages:
22
Country:
United States
State:
Colorado
County:
San Miguel County