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Smoky Quartz: A Potential Indicator of Uranium Mineralization
Smoky quartz grains have been noted in association with uranium mineralization both in the outcrop and in the subsurface in New Mexico, and in the subsurface of Texas. The smoky grains are usually the high temperature beta quartz derived from the weathering of acid volcanic rocks. Experiments have shown that the smoky color in quartz can be produced by exposure to radiation. The smoky quartz, therefore, has the potential of being a residual indicator of uranium mineralization in cases where the uranium minerals have been completely removed. It may have application in distinguishing barren oxidation fronts from mineralized fronts in the Tertiary units of Texas and Wyoming.
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