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GEOREF RECORD

Diffusion features of uranium-vanadium deposits in Montezuma Canyon, Utah

Lyman C. Huff and Frank G. Lesure
Diffusion features of uranium-vanadium deposits in Montezuma Canyon, Utah
Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists (March 1962) 57 (2): 226-237

Abstract

U-V deposits in the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation in Montezuma Canyon, San Juan County, exhibit zoning that is interpreted as a result of metal transport by diffusion. The concentric zones consist of a brown nonmineralized core, an olive- gray mineralized shell, and a gray nonmineralized outer zone. The brown zone is Fe stained, porous sandstone commonly containing abundant carbonaceous material. The curved mineralized layer completely encloses the brown zone and is composed of oxidized U-V minerals that impregnate sandstone. The gray zone is light-gray sandstone tightly cemented with calcite and commonly freckled with limonitic specks. Formation of the deposits most likely took place during Late Cretaceous or early Tertiary time when the ore-bearing sandstones were deeply buried and saturated with connate waters. The concentration of organic material in the brown zone suggests that this zone was once saturated with a reducing solution containing soluble organic compounds like alcohols and aldehydes derived from the organic material. The gray zone, on the other hand, was probably saturated with an oxidizing solution containing U and V. Where these 2 solutions were in contact, oxidation-reduction reactions took place that caused the precipitation of low-valent U and V minerals. The ellipsoidal shape of the ore layer and the lack of any exit or entrance for flowing solutions indicates that the dissolved metals moved through the gray zone by diffusion and were precipitated at the periphery of the reducing zone. Recent weathering and oxidation have altered the primary low-valent minerals to high-valent forms without noticeable leaching of the ore metals.


ISSN: 0361-0128
EISSN: 1554-0774
Coden: ECGLAL
Serial Title: Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists
Serial Volume: 57
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Diffusion features of uranium-vanadium deposits in Montezuma Canyon, Utah
Pages: 226-237
Published: 196203
Text Language: English
Publisher: Economic Geology Publishing Company, Lancaster, PA, United States
Accession Number: 1962-007836
Categories: Economic geology of ore deposits
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus., table
N37°00'00" - N42°00'00", W114°04'60" - W109°04'60"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Bibliography and Index of North American Geology, U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, United States
Update Code: 1962
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