Preliminary study of the favorability for uranium in the Madera Limestone, and Cutler and Chinle Formations of the Sierra Nacimiento-Jemez Mountains area, New Mexico

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Small, surficial, secondary uranium deposits are present in several formations in the Sierra Nacimiento-Jemez Mountains region, but none of significant size are known. Field surveys indicate that the deposits are laterally discontinuous and are, in most cases, associated with carbonaceous debris. Mineral contents of as much as 0.18 percent U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ are recorded. There are 2 known deposits in the Pennsylvanian Madera Limestone, 18 in the Permian Cutler Formation, and 3 in the Triassic Chinle Formation. The Madera Limestone consists of a lower and an upper member. The lower member is predominantly a dense limestone and is lithologically unfavorable. ... continued below

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Pages: 30

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Vizcaino, H.P.; O'Neill, A.J. & Dotterer, F.E. January 1, 1978.

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Description

Small, surficial, secondary uranium deposits are present in several formations in the Sierra Nacimiento-Jemez Mountains region, but none of significant size are known. Field surveys indicate that the deposits are laterally discontinuous and are, in most cases, associated with carbonaceous debris. Mineral contents of as much as 0.18 percent U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ are recorded. There are 2 known deposits in the Pennsylvanian Madera Limestone, 18 in the Permian Cutler Formation, and 3 in the Triassic Chinle Formation. The Madera Limestone consists of a lower and an upper member. The lower member is predominantly a dense limestone and is lithologically unfavorable. The upper member, which consists of several arkosic units interbedded with cherty limestone, is not a favorable host rock because of its thin arkosic units, the paucity of carbonaceous debris, and its lithologically unfavorable limestone. The Cutler Formation consists mostly of interfingering siltstones and fine- to coarse-grained feldspathic and arkosic sandstones of fluvial origin. The sandstones are generally lenticular, average about 40 ft in thickness, and are favorable. Cutler equivalents south of lat 36/sup 0/ N. (Abo and Yeso Formations) were not included in this study. The Chinle Formation in the project area consists of five members. The Agua Zarca Member, medium-grained to conglomeratic sandstone with beds that average 30 ft in thickness, is the only unit in the Chinle considered favorable. The stratigraphic units under consideration have been eroded and deformed; beds dip steeply. Upturned and deeply dissected beds afford access to infiltrating waters; oxidation and flushing of pre-existing uranium deposits is therefore suspected. The uranium deposits in the Madera, Cutler, and Chinle are likely to be remnants, and the probability of locating any large deposits within the area is therefore low.

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Pages: 30

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Dep. NTIS, PC A03/MF A01.

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  • Report No.: GJBX-4(78)
  • Grant Number: EY-76-C-13-1664
  • DOI: 10.2172/5170989 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5170989
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1055585

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  • January 1, 1978

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • Jan. 26, 2018, 3:36 p.m.

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Vizcaino, H.P.; O'Neill, A.J. & Dotterer, F.E. Preliminary study of the favorability for uranium in the Madera Limestone, and Cutler and Chinle Formations of the Sierra Nacimiento-Jemez Mountains area, New Mexico, report, January 1, 1978; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1055585/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.