A procedure has been developed to make use of quartz grains in sandstone-type uranium deposits as external detectors of spontaneous fission events in interstitial uranium. Fission-tracks must be counted on a large number of grain surfaces because uranium distribution is not uniform on a grain-to-grain scale. Ages calculated after statistical analysis of the data may represent average uranium residence times rather than absolute dates of mineralization.

Samples of redistributed ore from the western part of the Mariano Lake deposit, Grants Mineral Belt, New Mexico, give apparent ages of 6.72 ± 0.74 m.y. and 6.61 ± 0.72 m.y.

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