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Gamma-Ray Spectrometry in Geologic Mapping and Uranium Exploration

By
Stanley H. Ward
Stanley H. Ward
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Univerity of Utah, and Earth Science Laboratory, University of Utah Research Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
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Published:
January 01, 1981

Abstract

Gamma-ray spectrometry, airborne or ground, may be useful in a wide variety of geologic mapping applications because the concentrations of uranium, thorium, and/or potassium may be diagnostic of rock type in many uranium, base, and precious metal environments. However, in areas of little outcrop, the surface material must be either residual or locally derived before gamma-ray spectrometry can be applied successfully. In its alternate application—direct detection of uranium—gamma-ray spectrometry has been remarkably successful in recent years. However, for direct detection of uranium deposits, gamma-ray spectrometry will decrease in its application because most deposits occurring sufficiently close to surface to be detected have already been found.

To be of maximum use to the explorationist, data from gamma-ray spectrometry surveys must be acquired with utmost care. Accordingly, attention must be directed to the evaluation of such problems as disequilibrium in the uranium decay series, removal of atmospheric background radiation, the effect of rainfall and other meteorological phenomena, calibration of spectrometers, statistical errors in count rates, fields of view of gamma-ray detectors, and the effect of overburden. Modern instrumentation, calibration, and analysis are such that data can be evaluated with such care that as little as 1 ppm U, 1 ppm Th, or 0.1 percent K can be detected reliably with an airborne or ground gamma-ray spectrometry survey.

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Contents

Economic Geology Publishing Company

Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Volume

Brian J. Skinner
Brian J. Skinner
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Society of Economic Geologists
ISBN electronic:
9781934969533
Publication date:
January 01, 1981

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