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By Warren I. Finch, A. C. Huffman Jr., James E. Fassett

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Published through the yankee Geophysical Union as a part of the Field journey Guidebooks Series.

The San Juan Basin of northwest New Mexico and south-west Colorado includes large assets of subbituminous to bituminous coal, approximately 1/2 the U.S. uranium assets, the second one biggest natural-gas box within the conterminous usa, and several other huge oil fields. The uranium is focused in continental rocks of the higher Jurassic Morrison Formation in fundamental tabular and redistributed roll-type ore deposits. The coal and many of the oil and fuel assets ensue in transgressive-regressive rocks deposited in overdue Cretaceous time at the southwestern fringe of the Western inside Seaway, mostly within the Dakota Sandstone, Mancos Shale, Mesaverde staff, Pictured Cliffs Sandstone, and Fruitland Formation. The journey will learn intimately some of the facies of the energy-producing Mesozoic rocks, that are good uncovered during this arid and lovely a part of the Colorado Plateau. excursions of mines will contain the Navajo coal strip mine west of Farmington, New Mexico, one of many biggest coal mines within the united states; the Lee Ranch coal strip mine, north of San Mateo, generating subbituminous coal from the Menefee Formation; and the Mt. Taylor underground uranium mine north of promises, New Mexico, generating ore from the biggest basic ore deposit within the zone.


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Additional info for Coal, Uranium, and Oil and Gas in Mesozoic Rocks of the San Juan Basin: Anatomy of a Giant Energy-Rich Basin: Sandia Mountains to Mesita, New Mexico June 30-July 7, 1989

Sample text

Consequently, very few generalizations can be made complicating analyses of the traps. Seals are provided by a for the entire basin except that Pennsylvanian strata are at least variety of mechanisms including porosity differences in the mature throughout and that the Cretaceous source rocks in the reservoir rock, overlying evaporites, and interbedded shale. Source beds for Pennsylvanian oil and gas are believed to northern part of the basin reached maturity in the Eocene. Bond (1984) credited the Oligocene "heat flash" with eliminating the be organic-rich shales and laterally equivalent carbonates time consideration from maturation calculations for the Creta- within the Paradox.

In 1955, the first subsurface uranium ore in the Westwater Canyon Member was discovered on the crest of Ambrosia Dome, where the Westwater Canyon is relatively shallow. This led to many drill-hole discoveries in deeper and deeper ground, until ore was being discovered at depths greater than 4,000 feet (1,220 m). In 1968, the Mt. Taylor deposit was discovered at a depth of about 4,000 feet; it proved to contain more than 30,000,000lbs (13,600,000 kg) U30, and was the principal mine in operation in 1988.

Uranium production. In 1918, uranium associated with vanadium was discovered in the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation east of the Carrizo Mountains west of Shiprock. Radium was produced from these ores from 1923 to 1927. The area remained inactive until 1942, when vanadium ore was mined and shipped to a mill in Durango, Colo. Much of the uranium left in those mill tailings was recovered for the Manhattan Project. The uranium era began in 1948 with the first mining of the Salt Wash ores for uranium.

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