In the summer and fall of 1951, a reconnaissance search was made in New Mexico and adjacent states for uranium in coal and carbonaceous shale, chiefly of Mesozoic age, and black marine shale of Paleozoic age. Tertiary volcanic rocks, considered to be a possible source for uranium in the coal and associated rocks, were examined where the volcanic rocks were near coal-bearing strata. Uranium in possibly commercial amounts was found at La Ventana Mesa, Sandoval County, New Mexico. Slightly uranifeous coal and carbonaceous shale were found near San Ysidro, Sandoval County, and on Beautiful Mountain, San Juan County, all in New Mexico, and at Keams Canyon, Navajo County, and near Tuba City, Coconino County, in Arizona. Except for La Ventana deposit, none appeared to be of economic importance at the time this report was written, but additional reconnaissance investigations have been underway this field season, in the area where the deposits occur. Marine black shale of Sevonian age was examined in Otero and Socorro Counties, New Mexico and Gila County, Arizona. Mississippian black shale in Socorro County and Pennsylvanian black shale in Taos County, New Mexico were also tested. Equivalent uranium content of samples of these shales did not exceed 0.004 percent. Rhyolitic tuff from the Mount Taylor region is slightly radioactive as is the Bandelier tuff in the Nacimiento region and in the Jemez Plateau. Volcanic rocks in plugs and dikes in the northern Chuska Mountains and to the north in New Mexico as well as in northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah are slightly radioactive. Coal and carbonaceous rocks in the vicinity of these and similar intrusions are being examined.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Trace elements reconnaissance investigations in New Mexico and adjoining states in 1951
Trace Elements Memorandum
U.S. Geological Survey
Report: 20 p.; 4 Plates: 15.57 x 24.59 inches or smaller
Apache County;Coconino County;Navajo Counity;San Juan County