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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 992

Last Page: 992

Title: Comparison of Solution-Mineral Equilibria with Single-Element and Statistical Methods in Hydrogeochemical Exploration for Uranium: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Don L. Shettel, Jr., Ralph D. D'Andrea, Jr., Richard J. Zinkl

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Hydrogeochemical data, generated by the Department of Energy's National Uranium Resource Evaluation program, for the Millett 1° × 2° NTMS Quadrangle in Nevada can be used to identify geologic environments which might contain uranium deposits.

Saturation indices (SI) were calculated for uraninite, pitchblende, coffinite, autunite, tyuyamunite, and carnotite using a modified version of the WATEQF computer program. Uranium mineral SI's correlated well with the logarithm of total U concentration in ground water. Ground waters from the Austin Mining District possess the highest autunite SI values, although undersaturation is indicated. A spring in the Toquima Range (Tertiary rhyolites) is supersaturated with respect to uraninite and coffinite, and has the highest (but slightly undersaturated) SI value for pitchblende.

Samples within the Austin Mining District are anomalous with respect to U, As, Cu, Mo, and U/conductivity. The Toquima Range sample is anomalous in U, Mo, As, Cd, Fe, and U/conductivity. In a factor analysis of the Millett data, water temperature (Tw), U, Eh, Si, and V load on factor 3. High factor 3 scores are found in, but are not restricted to, the Austin Mining District and the Toquima Range. Multiple regression analysis of the data resulted in the equation: Ucalc = f(Tw, Cl, Ca, Mg). High residuals (Uobs - Ucalc) are located in the Austin Mining District and in the Toquima Range.

Calculated SI's reinforce, but are apparently not a substitute for, the standard statistical interpretation of reconnaissance ground water data, and may indicate the type of uranium mineralization present.

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