Preliminary study of lead isotopes in the carbonate-silica veins of Trench 14, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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The sub-vertical carbonate-silica veins filling the Bow Ridge Fault, where exposed in Trench 14 on the east side of Yucca Mountain, carry a lead isotopic signature that can be explained in terms of local sources. Two isotopically distinguishable--silicate and carbonate--fractions of lead are recognized within the vein system as well as in overlying surficial calcrete deposits. The acid-insoluble silicate fraction is contributed largely from the decomposing Miocene volcanic tuff, which forms the wall rock of the fault zone and is a ubiquitous component of the overlying soil. Lead contained in the silicate fraction approaches in isotopic composition that of the ... continued below

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18 p.

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Zartman, R.E. & Kwak, L.M. December 15, 1993.

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Description

The sub-vertical carbonate-silica veins filling the Bow Ridge Fault, where exposed in Trench 14 on the east side of Yucca Mountain, carry a lead isotopic signature that can be explained in terms of local sources. Two isotopically distinguishable--silicate and carbonate--fractions of lead are recognized within the vein system as well as in overlying surficial calcrete deposits. The acid-insoluble silicate fraction is contributed largely from the decomposing Miocene volcanic tuff, which forms the wall rock of the fault zone and is a ubiquitous component of the overlying soil. Lead contained in the silicate fraction approaches in isotopic composition that of the Miocene volcanic rocks of Yucca Mountain, but diverges from it in some samples by being more enriched in uranogenic isotopes. The carbonate fraction of lead in both vein and calcrete samples resides dominantly in the HCl- and CH{sub 3}COOH-soluble calcite. HCl evidently also attacks and removes lead from silicate phases, but the milder CH{sub 3}COOH dissolution procedure oftentimes identifies a significantly more radiogenic lead in the calcite. Wind-blown particulate matter brought to the area from Paleozoic and Late Proterozoic limestones in surrounding mountains may be the ultimate source of the calcite. Isotopically more uniform samples suggest that locally the basaltic ash and other volcanic rock have contributed most of the lead to both fractions of the vein system. An important finding of this study is that the data does not require the more exotic mechanisms or origins that have been proposed for the veins. Instead, the remarkably similar lead isotopic properties of the veins to those of the soil calcretes support their interpretation as a surficial, pedogenic phenomenon.

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18 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE94013976

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  • Other Information: PBD: 15 Dec 1993

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  • Other: DE94013976
  • Report No.: USGS-OFR--93-690
  • Grant Number: AI08-92NV10874
  • DOI: 10.2172/145235 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 145235
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc627536

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  • December 15, 1993

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 18, 2016, 6:47 p.m.

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Zartman, R.E. & Kwak, L.M. Preliminary study of lead isotopes in the carbonate-silica veins of Trench 14, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, report, December 15, 1993; Denver, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627536/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.