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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 63 (1979)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 441

Last Page: 442

Title: Uranium Resource Evaluation in Antarctica: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Gisela Dreschhoff, Edward J. Zeller

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The continent of Antarctica is the only large land area on earth that has been left almost totally unexplored for uranium resources. In 1976 the first systematic uranium resource evaluation was started as part of the Antarctic International Radiometric Survey. Two areas in the Transantarctic Mountains and one area in Marie Byrd Land have been examined by airborne gamma-ray spectrometric methods. Most flight operations are conducted using Bell 212 helicopters. The equipment in use is a GeoMetrics GR-800 gamma-ray spectrometer with a GAX 512 detector and a GAR 6 analog-recorder. The equipment has proved to be satisfactory, and no plans have been made to increase detector size or to alter data acquisition systems owing to the extremely rigorous nature of the Antarctic field perations.

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The crystalline igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Precambrian basement, the Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments of the Beacon Group, and the Cenozoic and recent volcanic rocks have been examined. Localized concentrations of radioactive minerals have been detected in Precambrian rocks, but only small concentrations have been found associated with pegmatites.

Thus far, the area covered by the radiometric survey has been too limited to provide any detailed assessment of the uranium resource potential of Antarctica. In general, however, it appears that the potential for uranium resources in the ice-free areas is essentially the same as that of the surface area of any other continental landmass.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists