Coal, Uranium, and Oil and Gas in Mesozoic Rocks of the San by Warren I. Finch, A. C. Huffman Jr., James E. Fassett

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

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Published by means of 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 a number of other huge oil fields. The uranium is targeted in continental rocks of the higher Jurassic Morrison Formation in basic tabular and redistributed roll-type ore deposits. The coal and many of the oil and fuel assets happen in transgressive-regressive rocks deposited in past due Cretaceous time at the southwestern fringe of the Western inside Seaway, mostly within the Dakota Sandstone, Mancos Shale, Mesaverde workforce, Pictured Cliffs Sandstone, and Fruitland Formation. The journey will study intimately a number 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 comprise 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 supplies, New Mexico, generating ore from the biggest basic ore deposit within the quarter.

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Additional resources 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

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They show the timetransgressive nature of the Pictured Cliffs Sandstone, which becomes younger northeastward across the basin and also EXPLANATION -.. . . 0 5 10 15 20 MILES I FIGURE4. Revised versionof Fruitlandcoalisopach map (fig. 1)showing that area of thickest Fruitland coal is located southwest of greatest stratigraphic rise (fig. 2) of the Pictured Cliffs Sandstone. Areas where total coal thickness is greater thatn 40 feet (12 m) are patterned. show that the sea did not retreat steadily and evenly across the basin.

I--. -- 5 I 11 12 9 10 Xrtiand shale- - - I - - - - - ' - I Lewls H u e r f a n ~ t oBentonlteBed, -- -. 13 : -- - - 5 o 5 "9 1 Shale ,. - B' FEET 1000 , , , I? 1,5 M f L E S VERTICAL EXAGGERATION ABOUT X 53 C FIGURE 3. Northeast-trendingstratigraphiccmss sections showing northeastwardstratigraphicrise of Pictured Cliffs Sandstone and associated rocks. Lines of cross sections are shown on figure 2. ded sandstone and shale. Sandstone beds in the lower part become thinner and finer grained downward in the section.

Exploration and development of these undiscovered resources will depend upon: (1) an increase in demand and price paid for uranium, (2) lowering of production costs, perhaps through increased in situ leaching, (3) increasing the cut-off grade used in mining, and (4) aid in lowering permitting, licensing, and environmental restrictions and issuing of government regulatory restraints. Bit used to drill shaft at Section 29 uranium mine,Crownpoint,New Mexico. Photo by R. S. Zech. T120: 32 PETROLEUM GEOLOGY OF THE SAN JUAN BASIN A.

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