Ground-water samples from 41 wells penetrating basal Oakville sandstone (Miocene) in S Texas were chemically analysed to identify chemical changes related to nearby U orebodies. The coverage included a 240 km2 area which contains several fault-related U deposits. Factors affecting the hydrochemistry include: 1) relatively high permeabilities of buried fluvial-channel sediments; 2) upwards leakage of brines along growth faults into the aquifer; 3) development of a redox interface (Eh = 0 volts) within the aquifer; and 4) the semi-arid climate. Variations in the saturation index (SI) for chemically reduced minerals of U, As, Mo, Se and for associated minerals such as pyrite outlined the position of known deposits. The SI increases towards zero as the deposits are approached from updip distances of 3-4.5 km, then decreases again downdip. The radiogenic pathfinders Ra and Rn showed very strong anomalies with ore, but diminished to background levels at short distances from ore. A strong He anomaly is deflected in the direction of ground-water flow away from the ore.-R.A.H.
Additional publication details
The solubilities of some major and minor element minerals in ground waters associated with a sandstone-hosted uranium deposit.