The abundance and distribution of uranium in some oceanic, continental ultramafic inclusions and host basalts
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Abstract:

AbstractThe abundance and distribution of uranium in various continental and oceanic ultramafic inclusions and host basalts are reported. Uranium was determined by neutron activation (fission products, fission tracks and delayed-neutron methods) and alpha-particle autoradiography; data is also reported for the uranium content of various USGS standard rock powders. The concentration of uranium in both oceanic and continental samples is similar, levels are controlled by mineral compositions, and their relative abundance in different rock types. Highest levels are found in feldspathic and lowest in olivine rich inclusions. Uranium is enriched in mylonitised samples and along some inter-crystal boundaries. With the exception of some apatites, highest levels of uranium are in clinopyroxenes (chrome) and lowest in olivines; no enrichment of uranium in orthopyroxenes was observed. Attention is drawn to the problem of obtaining representative samples from the sea floor which have not been altered by saline solutions and the identification of uranium and daughter products present along inter-crystal boundaries. Differences in observed heat flow between continental and oceanic areas may reflect inadequate sampling of representative rock types present below the sea floor and lack of information for the true abundance and distribution of uranium in such rocks.

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