Radiometric Surveys for Detection of Uranium in Dhofar Region, Sultanate of Oman

Narasimman Sundararajan, Bernhard Pracejus, Salah Al- Khirbash, Talal Al-Hosni, Ala Ebrahimi Ebrahimi, Ali Al-Lazki, Musallam Al-Mushani

Abstract


The Proterozoic basement of the Dhofar region of the Sultanate of Oman might be considered as a potential source of Uranium mineralization like other Proterozoic basins of the world, which collectively contribute 30%-40% to the global production.  Uranium exploration assumes great importance in this part of the world and therefore geochemical and geophysical exploration for Uranium was initiated.  Initial, random sampling of the study area with Gamma ray spectrometry as well as in situ XRF (Xray Florescence) analysis indicated the presence of   around 30-40 ppm of Uranium. Since Gamma ray spectrometry results in the calculation of the heat produced during radioactive decay of Potassium (K), Uranium (U) and Thorium (Th) within the rocks in the study area, measurements were acquired along eleven traverses of varying length from 100-250 m at a traverse interval of 20 m and sampling interval of 10 m. Individual plots of the concentrations  of radioelements such as U, K and Th have shown favorable anomalous radioactive sources. Besides this, Uranium to Thorium (eU/eTh) and Uranium to Potassium (eU/K) ratio plots have been presented and the alteration zones associated with Uranium mineralization through all traverses have been identified. Further, the generated composite ternary image based on the combination of K, Th and U from Gamma ray spectrometry determines different relative amounts of radioelements and paves the way for deciphering the level of radioactivity in the study area. However, there seems to be no presence of strong Uranium anomalies in the near surface of the limited study area. As the study area is heavily faulted, the depth to concealed  subsurface fault structures  is  estimated to be around  64 m based on Hartley spectral analysis of total magnetic anomaly (line-6). 


Keywords


Gamma ray spectrometry; XRF analysis; Uranium; Potassium; Thorium

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/squjs.vol24iss1pp36-46

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