Design and Results of the Mariano Lake-Lake Valley Drilling Project, Northwestern New Mexico
Published:January 01, 1986
Allan R. Kirk, A. Curtis Huffman, Jr., Robert S. Zech, 1986. "Design and Results of the Mariano Lake-Lake Valley Drilling Project, Northwestern New Mexico", A Basin Analysis Case Study: The Morrison Formation, Grants Uranium Region, New Mexico, Christine E. Turner-Peterson, Elmer S. Santos, Neil S. Fishman
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This drilling project included 12 holes along a north-south-trending line from Mariano Lake to Lake Valley, New Mexico, near the southern margin of the San Juan basin. Of a total 33,075 ft (10,088 m) drilled, 4,550 ft (1,388 m) were cored in the strati- graphic interval that included the basal part of the Dakota Sandstone, the Brushy Basin and Westwater Canyon Members of the Morrison Formation, and the upper part of the Recapture Member of the Morrison Formation.
The project objectives were (1) to provide cores and geophysical logs for study of the sedimentology, petrography, geochemistry, and mineralization in the uranium- bearing Westwater Canyon Member; (2) to provide control for a detailed seismic study of Morrison stratigraphy and basement structures; (3) to define and correlate the stratigraphy of Cretaceous coal-bearing units; (4) to supply background data for studies of ground-water flow pattern and ground-water quality; and (5) to provide data to aid resource assessment of uranium and coal.
The project design included selection of (1) drill-hole locations to cross known ore and depositional trends in the Morrison Formation; (2) a coring interval to include the uranium-bearing unit and adjacent units; geophysical logs for lithologic correlations, quantitative evaluation of uranium mineralization, qualitative detection of coal beds, preparation of synthetic seismograms, and magnetic susceptibility studies of alteration in the Morrison; and (3) a high-salinity mud program to enhance core recovery.
A regional stratigraphic correlation chart, brief lithologic descriptions, and descriptions of geophysical log responses of units in and adjacent to the cored interval aided in the interpretation of a geophysical log correlation diagram. Uranium mineralization was detected in four drill holes; coal beds and carbonaceous shales were encountered in all holes; and artesian flows of oil mixed with water were encountered in two holes.
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A Basin Analysis Case Study: The Morrison Formation, Grants Uranium Region, New Mexico
This volume summarizes results of a U.S. Geological Survey multidisciplinary basin analysis research effort that encompasses all aspects of the geology of the Morrison Formation in the Grants uranium region, located in the San Juan basin of northwestern New Mexico, U.S.A. Tectonic, stratigraphic, sedimentologic, structural, petrographic, mineralogic, geochemical, and resource studies are drawn together to provide a geologic synthesis of the Jurassic Morrison Formation, the main uranium host rock in the region, and to provide background data for the formulation of genetic models for ore genesis. The result is a compendium of 21 papers that incorporates many recent and significant advances in our understanding of factors that favored uranium mineralization in the Morrison, and several new genetic models that incorporate these recent advances. The basin analysis approach used here has proved fruitful in that ore genesis can now be viewed in the context of the evolution of a sedimentary basin rather than as an isolated event. This approach to ore genesis has application not only to uranium deposits but also to all sediment-hosted ore deposits.