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Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 277–292 | Cite as

Synchronous egress and ingress fluid flow related to compressional reactivation of basement faults: the Phoenix and Gryphon uranium deposits, southeastern Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan, Canada

  • Zenghua Li
  • Guoxiang Chi
  • Kathryn M. Bethune
  • Khalifa Eldursi
  • David Thomas
  • David Quirt
  • Patrick Ledru
Article

Abstract

Previous studies on unconformity-related uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin (Canada) suggest that egress flow and ingress flow can develop along single fault systems at different stages of compressional deformation. This research aims to examine whether or not both ingress and egress flow can develop at the same time within an area under a common compressional stress field, as suggested by the reverse displacement of the unconformity surface by the basement faults. The study considers the Phoenix and Gryphon uranium deposits in the Wheeler River area in the southeastern part of the Athabasca Basin. Two-dimensional numerical modeling of fluid flow, coupled with compressional deformation and thermal effects, was carried out to examine the fluid flow pattern. The results show that local variations in the basement geology under a common compressional stress field can result in both egress and ingress flow at the same time. The fault zone at Phoenix underwent a relatively low degree of deformation, as reflected by minor reverse displacement of the unconformity, and egress flow developed, whereas the fault zone at Gryphon experienced a relatively high degree of deformation, as demonstrated by significant reverse displacement of the unconformity, and ingress flow was dominant. The correlation between strain development and location of uranium mineralization, as exemplified by Gryphon and Phoenix uranium deposits, suggests that the localization of dilation predicted by numerical modeling may represent favourable sites for uranium mineralization in the Athabasca Basin.

Keywords

Ingress flow Egress flow Unconformity-related uranium deposits Structural control Athabasca Basin 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was financially supported partly by the TGI-4 (Targeted Geoscience Initiative Phase 4) uranium ore systems project from Natural Resources of Canada and partly by Cameco Corp., as well as by AREVA Resources Canada Inc., through grants to Chi and Bethune. Antonio Benedicto Esteban is acknowledged for comments and useful discussion during the preparation of the manuscript. We warmly thank reviewers Jonathan Cloutier and Eric G. Potter and Associate Editor Mostafa Fayek for their constructive comments and Editor Georges Beaudoin for editorial handling.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zenghua Li
    • 1
  • Guoxiang Chi
    • 1
  • Kathryn M. Bethune
    • 1
  • Khalifa Eldursi
    • 1
  • David Thomas
    • 2
  • David Quirt
    • 3
  • Patrick Ledru
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada
  2. 2.Cameco CorporationSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.AREVA Resources Canada Inc.SaskatoonCanada

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