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A reconnaissance for uranium in carbonaceous rocks in southwestern Colorado and parts of New Mexico

Trace Elements Memorandum 915

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Abstract

Coal and carbonaceous shale of the Dakota formation of Cretaceous age were examined for radioactivity in the Colorado Plateau of southwestern Colorado and northwestern New l1exico during the summer of 1953. Older and younger sedimentary rocks and some igneous rocks also were examined, but in less detail, Weak radioactivity was detected at many places but no new deposits of apparent economic importance were discovered. The highest radioactivity of carbonaceous rocks was detected in black shale, siltstone, and sandstone of the Paradox member of the Hermosa formation of Pennsylvanian age. A sample collected from this member at the Bald Eagle prospect in Gypsum Valley, San Higuel County, Colo. contains 0.10. percent uranium. Carbonaceous rocks were investigated at several localities on the Las Vegas Plateau and the Canadian Escarpment in Harding and San Miguel Counties, northeastern New Mexico. Carbonaceous sandstone and siltstone in the middle sandstone member of the Chinle formation of Triassic age contain uranium at a prospect of the Hunt Oil Company southwest of Sabinoso in northeastern San Miguel County, N. Mex. A channel sample across 3.2 feet of mineralized rocks at this locality contains 0.22 percent uranium. Weak radioactivity was detected at two localities in carbonaceous shale of the Dakota and Purgatoire formations of Cretaceous age.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
A reconnaissance for uranium in carbonaceous rocks in southwestern Colorado and parts of New Mexico
Series title:
Trace Elements Memorandum
Series number:
915
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1955
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
52 p.; 3 figs.
Number of Pages:
52