The Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Uranium, Thorium, and Rare-Earth Elements in Two Radioactive Granites of the Vosges, France

Maurice Pagel
Centre de Recherches sur la Grélogie de l'Uranium, BP 23, 54501 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France
Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, BP 20, 54501 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France

Abstract: Two contrasting types of Hercynian U-rich granites can be distinguished by their accessory minerals: (1) subalkaline potassic granites (amphibole-biotite±pyroxene) characterized by apatite-zircon-thorite-sphene-allanite and rare ThO2-rich uraninite, in order of appearance in the magma, and (2) leucocratic granites (biotite and muscovite) which contain monazite-zircon-apatite-xenotime-ThO2-poor uraninite and Ti oxides. Intermediate accessory mineral associations may also exist.

The mineralogy, crystallization history, and geochemistry of two high K-U-Th granites from the Vosges, France, is described. Their assemblage of U- and Th-bearing accessory minerals is listed, in order of appearance in the magma, in Group 1 (above). Trace elements (U, Th, Zr, Hf) and preliminary data on REE are discussed. In a layered sequence of the Crêtes granite, thorite, with up to 15% UO2, is shown to be important during differentiation. There is a decrease of the Th/U ratio corresponding to a slight decrease of the Th content whereas there is an increase of the U content at the end of differentiation. The Crêtes and Ballons granites have REE patterns characterized by LREE enrichment with a La/Yb ratio of about 28 (Crêtes granite) and a slight negative Eu anomaly. These relationships are typical of subalkaline potassic granites of the Hercynian. The trace element associations are similar to those of the shoshonite association with high U, Th, LREE and Ba, Rb, and Sr contents. A hypothetical model for uranium mineralization associated with such granites is discussed in the light of these data.

Mineralogical Magazine; June 1982 v. 46; no. 339; p. 149-161; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1982.046.339.01
© 1982, The Mineralogical Society
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