- © 2011 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum
This paper focuses on determining the favorable geological and hydrogeological conditions for forming uranium occurrences in the Froqlos–Jabal Abou Rabah region, Palmyrides, Syria. Eighty rock samples from this area were analyzed by spectrometric gamma-ray technique to determine the radioactive concentrations of eU and eTh, and of %K. Uranium concentrations in shallow and deep groundwaters were also determined. High uranium concentrations were registered owing to the presence of phosphatic outcrops in the study region. The uranium migration trends and its remobilization were analyzed through the analysis of the behavior of eU, eTh, and their ratio. A positive relationship between eU and eU/eTh, and a negative relationship between eTh and eU/eTh in geological formations of different ages supports the secondary remobilization of uranium. The role of groundwater movement in transportation and redeposition of uranium mineralization is discussed: deep waters are less oxidizing than near-surface waters, and do not appear to have significantly remobilized uranium. This indicates that the source of secondary uranium mineralization is surficial or near surficial, and is mainly related to the leaching of outcropping phosphatic layers.
Integration of the results with established radioactive and geological sections reveals four radioactive anomalous zones: north Froqlos, Kherbet Hannora, northwestern flanks of Jabal Abou Rabah (Kherbet Al-Hajar), and the northwestern limit of the Ghuntor depression. The high uranium concentration in north Froqlos is because of its original presence in the phosphate beds and extensive fracturing, which allows groundwaters to penetrate and remobilize the uranium. High uranium concentrations in the other three locations are caused by the presence of evaporites and capillary action, which draws solutions upwards and causes redeposition as surface crusts (gypcrete).