Exposure to radiation during the formation or redistribution of uranium ore deposits is expected to affect the thermoluminescence (TL) properties of the host rock. For example, TL measurements on samples from a traverse of a Wyoming roll-type deposit display the following intensity-versus-distance pattern. Starting from barren oxidized ground the intensity increases gradually with decreasing distance to ore, is extremely high in ore, and drops abruptly with distance in reduced ground to a level substantially below that in oxidized ground. This pattern is in accord with current hypotheses concerning the genesis of this type of deposit.
Measurements of both natural and artificial TL made on quartz separates from drill cores and samples collected underground in the Ambrosia Lake area, because of the intensity and structure of their respective glow curves, permit discrimination among oxidized ground, reduced ground, and mineralized areas. In addition, samples from oxidized ground show TL intensities and glow-curve characteristics that have been correlated with structural features that controlled the redistribution of ore. Although the data show some statistical variation, the general intensity-versus-distance pattern has been observed in many cases. All currently available results suggest that TL can be developed into a viable tool for uranium exploration.