Uranium-bearing sandstone deposits of the Colorado Plateau

Economic Geology



The uranium-bearing sandstone deposits of the Colorado Plateau are commonly referred to as "carnotite deposits." They have been the principal domestic source of uranium, radium, and vanadium. The deposits are largely restricted to a few stratigraphic zones, along which they have a wide but spotty areal distribution. The ore minerals mainly impregnate sandstone, though in places fossil plants are richly mineralized. Most of the ore bodies are small, but have a wide range in size, and within individual deposits the ore has a considerable range in thickness and grade. The deposits are irregularly tabular or lenticular, with their long axes nearly parallel to the bedding, but the ore does not follow the beds in detail.The ore is thought to have been precipitated from ground-water solutions after the enclosing sands had accumulated and before regional deformation. Sedimentary structures that seem to have controlled the movement of these solutions and the features that probably localized the ore deposits are described, and their application as guides to ore finding is explained.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Uranium-bearing sandstone deposits of the Colorado Plateau
Series title Economic Geology
DOI 10.2113/gsecongeo.45.1.1
Volume 45
Issue 1
Year Published 1950
Language English
Publisher Society of Economic Geologists
Description 11 p.
First page 1
Last page 11
Country United States
State Colorado, Utah, Wyoming
Other Geospatial Colorado Plateau
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