Epigenetic Zonation and Fluid Flow History of Uranium-Bearing Fluvial Aquifer Systems, South Texas Uranium Province
The Oligocene-Miocene fluvial uranium host aquifers of the South Texas uranium province were deposited principally as syndepositionally oxidized sands and muds. Early intrusion of reactive sulfide- enriched waters produced large intrastratal islands of epigenetic sulfidic alteration, which contain isotopically heavy pyrite exhibiting unique replacement textures. The only known reservoir containing such sulfidic waters is the deeply buried Mesozoic carbonate section beneath the thick, geopressured Tertiary basin fill. Thermobaric waters were expulsed upward along major fault zones into shallow aquifers in response to a pressure head generated by compaction and dehydration in the abyssal ground-water regime. Vertical migration of gaseous hydrogen sulfide was less important. Repeated flushing of the shallow aquifers by oxidizing meteoric waters containing anomalous amounts of uranium, selenium, and molybdenum alternating with sulfidic thermobaric waters caused cyclic precipitation and oxidation of iron disulfide. Uranium deposits formed along hydrologically active oxidation interfaces separating epigenetic sulfidic and epigenetic oxidation zones. Multiple epigenetic events are recorded in imperfectly superimposed, multiple mineralization fronts, in regional and local geometric relations between different alteration zones, and in the bulk matrix geochemistry and mineralogy of alteration zones. The dynamic mineralization model described in this report may reflect processes active in many large, depositionally active basins.
Galloway, W. E., 1982, Epigenetic Zonation and Fluid Flow History of Uranium-Bearing Fluvial Aquifer Systems, South Texas Uranium Province: The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, Report of Investigations No. 119, 31 p.
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The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology
Report of Investigation