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Applied Radiation and Isotopes 105 (2015) 163169

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Applied Radiation and Isotopes


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/apradiso

Uranium series disequilibrium studies in Chenchu colony area, Guntur


district, Andhra Pradesh, India
H.B. Shrivastava n, V. Koteswara Rao, R.V. Singh, M. Rahman, G.B. Rout, Rahul Banerjee,
B.K. Pandey, M.B. Verma
Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research, Begumpet, Hyderabad, India

H I G H L I G H T S

 Chenchu colony area of Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh of India is a part of Koppunuru uranium deposit with an established tonnage of
3000 tons. A disequlibrium study has been carried out in the Chenchu Colony area to know the presence of disequilibrium in uranium
series between parent uranium and daughter Radium-226.
 In Chenchu colony area, Banganapalle Formation is hosting uranium mineralisation proximal to basement unconformity and mainly
associated with a gritty quartzite/conglomerate unit. At places, uranium mineralisation partly transgresses below the unconformity
contact in basement granites along the fracture planes. Besides, the basement granites in the vicinity show substantial reactivation as
evidenced by the presence of basic dykes, profuse quartz veins and WNW-ESE trending fractures sub-parallel to the Kandlagunta fault.
 The ore grades of mineralized zones obtained based on total gamma ray logging results gives eU3O8 values of mineralized rocks which
needs to be corrected due to disequlibrium in the Uranium series. For this study, 634 numbers of subsurface samples collected from 35
boreholes of the Chenchu colony area and Uranium and Ra( eU3O8) concentration estimated to nd out the disequilibrium factor by
using Beta Gamma Method and Gamma Ray Spectrometry respectively.

art ic l e i nf o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 17 December 2014
Received in revised form
25 July 2015
Accepted 29 July 2015
Available online 30 July 2015

An attempt is made to understand uranium series disequilibrium in unconformity proximal related uranium mineralisation in Chenchu colony area, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India. The uranium mineralization in Chenchu colony is the western continuity of the Koppunuru uranium deposit and predominantly hosted by gritty quartzite/conglomerate, which occasionally transgresses to underlying
basement granite/basic rock. Disequilibrium studies are based on borehole core samples (35 boreholes,
No. of samples 634) broadly divided in two groups of cover rocks of Banganapalle formation (above
unconformity) and basement granites (below unconformity). Linear regression coefcient between uranium and radium is 0.95, which reects excellent correlation and signicant enrichment of parent
uranium. Disequilibrium studies have indicated predominant disequilibrium in favour of parent uranium
(35%), which is probably due to the weathering process causing migration of some of the radionuclides
while dissolution of minerals due to groundwater action might have also played a signicant role. Further, escape of radon might have accentuated the disequilibrium factor resulting in an increase in the
grade of the mineralization. This is well corroborated by the presence of fractures and faults in the study
area providing channels for radon migration/escape.
& 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Uranium
Disequilibrium factor
Beta gamma method
Gamma Ray Spectrometry
Guntur district
Andhra Pradesh

1. Introduction
For the growth and development of any country, energy is the
prime requirement and hence sustainable energy resources are

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: hbshrivastava.amd@gov.in (H.B. Shrivastava).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2015.07.055
0969-8043/& 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

essential. With the fast depletion of fossil fuel reserves and pollution related issues associated with thermal energy, attention is
being given to green and high density energy sources such as
nuclear energy. Uranium is one of the main nuclear fuels, which
needs to be developed to sustain the growth of nuclear energy. In
India, an extensive exploration programme is being carried out in
different geological domains to establish new uranium resources
and reserves. In most of the cases, disequilibrium in radioactive

164

H.B. Shrivastava et al. / Applied Radiation and Isotopes 105 (2015) 163169

ore has presented a difcult problem for proper assessment of


the resources. However, it is observed that the magnitude and
frequency of radioactivity disequilibria is generally ignored leading
to underestimation or overestimation of the deposit. In recent
years the signicance of disequilibrium studies is being
given importance both in eld and laboratory counting measurements to overcome uranium ore deposit evaluation related
constraints.
In a radioactive series, equilibrium is attained when all the
daughter products decay at the same rate that they are produced
from the parent isotope (Hay et al., 1972). Thus, at equilibrium
each of these daughter products would be present in a constant
proportion to its parent isotope. The loss or gain of any important
isotopes, by different geological and physicochemical processes,
during the more recent part of the existence of a mineral, causes
disequilibrium in the proportions of the parent isotope to its
daughter products (Rosholt, 1958). The importance of these aspects is being evaluated for unconformity proximal and fracture
controlled types of uranium mineralisation in Chenchu colony
area, which falls in the Northern part of Cuddapah basin.
U-series disequilibrium study of subsurface core samples of
Chenchu colony area has been done by using the beta gamma
method and gamma ray spectrometry. The present paper deals
with results of disequilibrium studies and its implication on uranium distribution pattern/mineralisation.

2. Geological setting
Uranium mineralization in the northern part of Cuddapah basin
has been explored by the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) over two decades and the established unconformity proximal uranium deposit in Srisailam and
Palnad sub-basins (Sinha et al., 1995, 1996; Jeyagopal et al., 1996).
Koppunuru uranium deposit is mainly hosted in cover rocks of
Banganapalle formation (85%) and occasionally transgresses in to
basement granites (15%) along well dened fractures across the
unconformity contact (Verma et al., 2011).
Chenchu Colony area is located in the south-western marginal
part of Palnad Sub-basin and is being explored for uranium mineralization to check the western continuity of the Koppunuru
uranium deposit. Palnad sub basin exposes Kurnool Group of sediments which are deposited over basement granites, exposed
along the up-thrown block of the WNWESE trending Kandlagunta fault and as inliers in the southern and western parts (Fig. 1).
The basement rocks are mainly represented by medium to coarse
grained pink and pinkish grey granites. These granites are highly
sheared, fractured and traversed at places by dolerite dykes and
quartz veins signifying basement reactivation.
Kurnool Group is represented by a thick column of sediments
belonging to the quartzite-limestone-shale cycle. This group is
classied into six formations viz., Banganapalle, Narji, Auk (Owk),
Paniam, Koilkuntla and Nandyal formations (Nagaraja Rao et al.,
1987). Among these, the rst four formations are well developed

Fig. 1. Geological map of Chenchu colony area, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh along with studied borehole locations.

H.B. Shrivastava et al. / Applied Radiation and Isotopes 105 (2015) 163169

165

Table 1
Detail of mineralised intercepts in boreholes and host rock of Chenchu colony area, Guntur district.
S. no.

BH no.

1
2

KPU-210C
KPU-214C

KPU-219C

4
5

KPU-221C
KPU-224C

KPU-229C

KPU-236C

KPU-244C

9
10

KPU-248C
KPU-249C

11

KPU-256C

12

KPU-278C

13

KPU-281C

14

KPU-284C

15

KPU-287C

16
17
18
19

KPU-295C
KPU-297C
KPU-300C
KPU-302C

20
21

KPU-310C
KPU-313C

22

KPU-314C

23

KPU-316C

24

KPU-317C

25

KPU-323C

26

KPU-324C

27
28

KPU-330C
KPU-331C

29
30
31
32

KPU-332C
KPU-335C
KPU-337C
KPU-339C

33

KPU-350C

Mineralised zone
From (m)

To (m)

Thickness  avg. grade (%eU3O8)

88.35
106.75
109.25
120.85
134.85
145.95
122.65
125.65
173.85
198.55
205.45
110.85
150.15
120.65
136.25
136.55
116.35
136.15
78.75
92.75
95.65
121.85
124.35
125.35
72.35
74.75
77.65
81.95
95.95
72.55
88.25
93.25
98.65
111.05
114.35
117.25
171.85
163.75
82.95
96.15
114.65
119.65
124.45
130.65
174.25
81.55
98.05
100.45
103.55
117.95
108.05
118.25
86.85
101.15
103.45
81.95
93.35
94.75
107.65
72.95
78.95
110.65
169.55

90.15
107.75
112.25
122.05
135.45
148.05
123.25
127.95
177.45
199.95
207.25
112.05
152.95
122.25
137.35
142.15
120.75
137.75
79.45
94.45
96.45
123.45
124.85
129.65
74.05
75.55
79.95
89.25
96.85
74.35
90.55
96.55
100.05
113.35
115.35
119.15
173.95
165.65
84.05
99.15
115.05
120.15
125.25
131.25
175.95
83.25
99.65
101.05
104.15
118.55
110.55
118.65
88.15
103.15
110.25
82.95
98.15
96.35
108.25
76.15
79.75
113.05
173.45

0.8 m of 0.046
1.0 m of 0.022
3.0 m of 0.09
1.2 m of 0.013
0.6 m of 0.014
2.9 m of 0.017
0.6 m of 0.014
2.3 m of 0.010
3.6 m of 0.014
1.4 m of 0.010
1.8 m of 0.020
1.2 m of 0.075
2.8 m of 0.017
1.6 m of 0.058
1.1 m of 0.014
5.6 m of 0.02
4.4 m of 0.019
1.6 m of 0.049
0.7 m of 0.010
1.7 m of 0.094
0.8 m of 0.013
1.6 m of 0.011
0.5 m of 0.013
4.3 m of 0.011
1.7 m of 0.016
0.8 m of 0.026
2.3 m of 0.077
7.3 m of 0.050
0.9 m of 0.013
1.8 m of 0.013
2.3 m of 0.023
3.3 m of 0.017
1.4 m of 0.015
2.3 m of 0.010
1.0 m of 0.014
1.9 m of 0.015
2.1 m of 0.034
1.9 m of 0.012
1.1 m of 0.018
3.0 m of 0.067
0.4 m of 0.021
0.5 m of 0.013
0.8 m of 0.035
0.6 m of 0.013
1.7 m of 0.027
1.7 m of 0.051
1.6 m of 0.025
0.6 m of 0.017
0.6 m of 0.041
0.6 m of 0.013
2.5 m of 0.023
0.4 m of 0.020
1.3 m of 0.042
2.0 m of 0.015
6.8 m of 0.047
1.0 m of 0.011
4.8 m of 0.049
1.6 m of 0.013
0.6 m of 0.018
3.2m of 0.023
0.8 m of 0.045
2.4 m of 0.023
3.9 m of 0.015

103.65
163.55
113.85
137.95
142.85
148.95
152.15
158.85
85.55

110.65
167.05
116.85
139.05
146.75
150.45
154.75
159.45
87.45

6.4 m of 0.016
3.4 m of 0.023
3.0 m of 0.018
1.1 m of 0.018
3.9 m of 0.015
1.5 m of 0.010
2.6 m of 0.013
0.6 m of 0.016
1.9 m of 0.044

Rock type

Depth of unconformity (m)

No. of sample (n)

Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Granite
Granite
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Granite
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Granite
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Gritty quartzite
Quartzite
Quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Granite
Granite
Granite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Granite
Granite
Granite
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Granite
Gritty quartzite
Basic
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Gritty quartzite
Granite
Granite
Granite
Granite
Granite
Gritty conglomerate

91.70
132.30

8
42

144.80

23

155.05
129.85

8
11

163.45

32

117.10
148.45

7
12
8

143.65
148.15

10
29

102.30

10

129.85

14

89.40

48

88.50

10
4
12

115.30

11

121.90
166.30
167.75
143.05

9
9
8
14

173.95
87.95

9
2
9

119.50

12

113.50

58

76.60

19

90.05

76.60

110.30
168.30
122.25
123.45

9
7
14
8
9
27
11
8
40

105.40

19

111.05
172.20

166

H.B. Shrivastava et al. / Applied Radiation and Isotopes 105 (2015) 163169

Table 1 (continued )

34
35

KPU-357C
KPU-375C

94.55
98.35
130.15
119.55

95.55
99.05
132.65
122.65

1.0 m of 0.017
0.7 m of 0.033
2.5 m of 0.018
3.1 m of 0.013

Gritty conglomerate
Gritty conglomerate
Dolerite
Dolerite

in the study area. The lowermost unit, Banganapalle Formation is


represented by a 10173 m thick column of quartz arenite and
intercalated grey shale sequence with basal conglomerate/gritty
quartzite (Gupta et al., 2010; Banerjee et al., 2012). This is overlain
by the Narji Formation comprising white to grey coloured massive
limestones and an intercalated calcareous shale sequence. The Auk
Formation consists of 210 m thick ferruginous ochreous calcshale while an outlier of younger Paniam quartzite (1020 m thick
quartz arenite) occurs at ridge tops. The overall thickness of the
Kurnool sediments in this part varies from 10 m to 205 m with
gentle dips (35), mostly following the basement topography.
In Chenchu colony area, Banganapalle Formation is hosting
uranium mineralisation proximal to basement unconformity and
mainly associated with a gritty quartzite/conglomerate unit. At
places, uranium mineralisation partly transgresses below the unconformity contact in basement granitoids along the fracture
planes (Gupta et al., 2010, 2012; Ramesh Babu et al., 2012). It is
observed that the mineralisation follows a predominant NS to
NNESSW trend in this area which is sympathetic to post-depositional (Banganapalle sediments) younger faults and fractures.
Besides, the basement granites in the vicinity show substantial
reactivation as evidenced by the presence of basic dykes, profuse
quartz veins and WNWESE trending fractures sub-parallel to the
Kandlagunta fault (Ramesh Babu et al., 2012; Thomas et al., 2014).

3. Sampling and analytical techniques


A total of 634 mineralised core samples from 35 boreholes of
Chenchu colony area were collected for the disequilibrium studies.
In these boreholes uranium mineralisation was intercepted between 75 and 170 m depth and mineralised bands have thicknesses between 0.6 m and 6.8 m and average grade is between
0.01% and 0.094% of eU3O8. Details of mineralized intercepts, lithounit, depth of unconformity and number of samples collected
are shown in Table 1. Out of 634 samples, 216 samples are from
basement granite below the unconformity contact. These core
samples were crushed to 200 mesh to maintain homogeneity.
Subsequently, samples were studied for equilibrium/disequilibrium state using High Energy Gamma Ray Spectrometry
(HEGS) along with physical assay of U3O8(%) by /method
(Acharyulu et al., 2004; Bhaumik et al., 2004). Further, these
samples were analyzed for equivalent U3O8 (%eU3O8), radium
equivalent U3O8 (%RaeU3O8), %ThO2 and %K.
U3O8 content in the sample was estimated by simultaneous
measurement of total beta and total gamma radiations using a LND
73201 beta tube and a 1  2 NaI (Tl) scintillation detector, respectively (Eichholz et al., 1953; Ghosh, 1972). The U3O8 estimation
was determined by the following equation:

U3 O8 = (1 + C ) U C U
where
U beta activity of uranium
U gamma activity of uranium
C ratio of Ra beta to U beta

(1)

130.70
120.05

12
14

Estimation of uranium:
The concentration of uranium in the sample was estimated by
beta gamma method using Eq. (1). Detection limit is 90 ppm with
710% error.
IAEA uranium reference standard RGU-1 (U3O8 460 ppm and
Ra (eU3O8) 470 ppm) was also analysed to validate the technique.
The value obtained for RGU-1 by this technique was
453 ppm 724 ppm.
Ra (eU3O8), ThO2 and %K concentrations in the sample were
estimated by using gamma ray spectrometry. For the estimation of
Ra (eU3O8), the 1.76 MeV of gamma ray energy was measured from
the Bi-214 (t1/2 19.7 min) which is one of the daughters of the
radium series and always in equilibrium with radium. The estimation of ThO2 was done by measuring the 2.62 MeV of gamma
ray energy from Tl-208 (t1/2 3.1 min) and the 1.46 MeV of gamma
ray energy was measured for the estimation of %K. The detector
used for the analysis was 5  4 NaI (Tl) scintillation detector. A
detector is coupled to a dMCA-pro-digital-Multi-Channel-Analyser
(Target, Germany) which directly digitizes signals from the radiation detectors and stores them in the format desired by the inbuilt
software (winTMCA32). Standard gamma ray sources 137Cs
(662 keV) and 60Co (1173 keV and 1332 keV) are used for energy
calibration. Sensitivity is calculated using an equilibrium U3O8
standard developed in-house (Atomic Minerals Directorate for
Exploration and Research, Hyderabad). The samples and standard
are taken in the plastic container of the same volume and size to
maintain a similar geometry.
The counting of samples was carried out in a Low Back Ground
room which is  4 ft below the ground level and walls of the room
are made up of quartz, with a thickness of 0.9 m. The samples
were placed on the top of the detector and the spectra from each
sample were obtained. The concentration of the Ra (eU3O8) is
calculated by dividing the net peak area of the characteristic
gamma ray energies of 1.76 MeV to the sensitivity of radium
(Grasty, 1979), ThO2 concentration is calculated by dividing the net
peak area of the characteristic gamma ray energies of 2.62 MeV to
the sensitivity of thorium and similarly the concentration of %K is
calculated by dividing the net peak area of the characteristic
gamma ray energies of 1.46 MeV to the sensitivity of potassium.
Net peak area of the gamma ray was calculated by subtracting
background counts and stripping of the higher energy
contribution.

4. Results and discussion


4.1. Estimation of uranium
The concentration of uranium in the sample was estimated by
the beta gamma method using Eq. (1). Detection limit is 90 ppm
with 710% error.
Estimation of Ra (eU3O8)
Sensitivity of Ra (eU3O8) SRa using NaI (Tl) detector was estimated by using the following equation:

SRa = Nstd/Con.std
where

(2)

H.B. Shrivastava et al. / Applied Radiation and Isotopes 105 (2015) 163169

167

Table 2
Details of U3O8, Ra (eU3O8) and disequilibrium factor (DF) of borehole core samples, Chenchu colony area, Guntur district.
S. no.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35

BH no.

KPU-210C
KPU-214C
KPU-219C
KPU-221C
KPU-224C
KPU-229C
KPU-236C
KPU-244C
KPU-248C
KPU-249C
KPU-256C
KPU-278C
KPU-281C
KPU-284C
KPU-287C
KPU-295C
KPU-297C
KPU-300C
KPU-302C
KPU-310C
KPU-313C
KPU-314C
KPU-316C
KPU-317C
KPU-323C
KPU-324C
KPU-330C
KPU-331C
KPU-332C
KPU-335C
KPU-337C
KPU-339C
KPU-350C
KPU-357C
KPU-375C

No. of sample

U3O8 (ppm)

Ra (e U3O8) ppm

Above u/c

Below u/c

Min

Max

Av.

8
42
23
8
11
0
7
8
10
29
10
14
48
4
11
9
0
8
14
0
2
12
58
0
0
9
0
8
27
11
8
0
19
0
0
Average

0
0
0
0
0
32
12
0
0
0
0
0
10
12
0
0
9
0
0
9
9
0
0
19
8
7
14
9
0
0
0
40
0
12
14

112
96
100
126
90
90
91
125
98
90
171
96
95
103
97
105
122
92
90
103
90
107
90
90
98
90
91
101
96
92
104
90
93
90
98
100

309
7243
921
886
179
447
7393
3670
1149
3860
5095
278
5340
1360
209
233
781
251
1918
327
4196
1239
1832
3122
254
2324
293
847
908
2168
603
299
3560
488
303
1837

198
509
316
328
125
220
632
942
371
876
1151
135
678
408
143
144
287
136
382
208
825
327
325
412
171
393
186
206
238
398
271
140
514
173
178
370

DF

Min.

Max.

Av.

75
68
77
88
67
62
71
91
70
69
118
65
73
76
77
70
126
69
72
109
65
76
73
68
72
72
70
71
61
76
114
67
95
99
89
79

414
4757
566
437
148
480
3566
3458
911
2358
2738
300
4252
568
142
151
667
191
1392
415
3481
508
1226
1639
199
1497
263
521
432
1475
443
240
2259
308
232
1218

159
369
216
197
90
158
414
701
297
720
770
106
607
203
103
110
277
101
302
211
583
192
250
280
121
263
128
152
156
304
224
118
403
164
133
274

1.51
1.43
1.49
1.58
1.45
1.50
1.28
1.4
1.27
1.19
1.35
1.37
1.25
1.96
1.39
1.22
1.00
1.36
1.34
1.02
1.61
1.59
1.25
1.11
1.48
1.48
1.48
1.32
1.48
1.22
1.14
1.20
1.19
0.97
1.33
1.35

Note:-u/c unconformity.

SRa Sensitivity of Ra (eU3O8),


Nstd Net counts under the peak (1.76 MeV) in the standard,
Con.std Concentration of standard.

Ra

( eU3O8 ) [sample] = N [sample]/SRa

(3)

where Ra (eU3O8) [sample] Concentration of radium in the


sample,
N[sample] Net counts under the peak (1.76 MeV) in the
sample.
Sensitivity of Ra (eU3O8) with a counting time of 200 s is
5 counts/ppm for 140 g of sample weight and detection limit is
2 ppm (error o10%).
Uranium concentration of 634 samples has been estimated by
beta gamma method and radium concentration by gamma ray
spectrometry. Minimum, maximum and average values of U3O8
and Ra (eU3O8) of borehole core samples are given in Table 2.
The linear regression equation between radium concentration
and uranium concentration has been found from the regression
plot is

Y ( U3 O8 ) = 1. 352X Ra ( eU3 O8 ) + 7. 072 with R2 = 0. 9557

y = 1.352x + 7.0727
R = 0.9557

1200
1000
800
UO

Using the spectra collected for each of the samples from the NaI
(Tl) detector, the concentration of Ra (eU3O8) is obtained by a
comparative technique as follows:

1400

600
400
200
0
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

Ra(eU O )

Fig. 2. Linear regression plot between Ra (eU3O8) and U3O8 of borehole core
samples (n 634).

has indicated a correlation coefcient of 0.9557 (Fig. 2). This plot


indicates the association of daughter product with signicant enrichment of parent and good correlation among them.
For the calculation of disequilibrium factor in the sample the
following formula is applied

(4)

The linear regression plot of studied samples from 35 boreholes

DF = U3 O8 in the sample/Ra ( eU3 O8 ) in the sample

(5)

168

H.B. Shrivastava et al. / Applied Radiation and Isotopes 105 (2015) 163169

Table 3
Disequilibrium factor of Granites boreholes core samples (below unconformity),
Chenchu colony area, Guntur district.

Table 5
Disequilibrium factor of core samples with different eU3O8 ranges of Chenchu
colony area, Guntur district.

S. no.

BH no.

No. of samples

DF

Range (ppm) (eU3O8)

No. of sample

Avg. U3O8

DF U/Ra

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

KPU-229C
KPU-236C
KPU-281C
KPU-284C
KPU-297C
KPU-310C
KPU-313C
KPU-317C
KPU-323C
KPU-324C
KPU-330C
KPU-331C
KPU-339C
KPU-357C
KPU-375C

32
12
10
12
9
9
9
19
8
7
14
9
40
12
14
Total sample: 216

1.5
1.3
1.27
2.08
1
1.02
1.76
1.11
1.48
1.62
1.48
1.31
1.2
0.97
1.33
Average: 1.36

90200
200400
400600
600800
8001000
10001500
15003000
More than 3000

405
126
46
12
8
14
15
8

150
335
588
750
1028
1685
2637
4870

1.36
1.34
1.26
1.17
1.14
1.42
1.37
1.29

Table 4
Disequilibrium factor of Banganapalle quartzite/grit boreholes core samples (above
unconformity), Chenchu colony area, Guntur district.
S no.

BH no.

No. of samples

DF

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26

KPU-210C
KPU-214C
KPU-219C
KPU-221C
KPU-224C
KPU-236C
KPU-244C
KPU-248C
KPU-249C
KPU-256C
KPU-278C
KPU-281C
KPU-284C
KPU-287C
KPU-295C
KPU-300C
KPU-302C
KPU-313C
KPU-314C
KPU-316C
KPU-324C
KPU-331C
KPU-332C
KPU-335C
KPU-337C
KPU-350C

8
42
23
8
11
7
8
10
29
10
14
48
4
11
9
8
14
2
12
58
9
8
27
11
8
19
Total sample: 418

1.51
1.43
1.49
1.58
1.45
1.24
1.40
1.27
1.19
1.35
1.37
1.25
1.96
1.39
1.22
1.36
1.34
0.92
1.59
1.25
1.37
1.33
1.48
1.22
1.14
1.19
Average: 1.357

If the value of DF is more than one (DF 41), then disequilibrium is considered to be towards the parent uranium and
this is the favorable condition for the prospector as it shows enrichment of uranium resulting in positive corrections in nal ore
reserve estimation based on total gamma ray logging data. In
contrast, if the value of DF is less than one (DF o1), then disequilibrium is towards the daughter radium and is a non-desirable
condition for uranium prospecting as it signies partial removal of
uranium from the system leading to a lowering of nal ore reserve
estimates based on total gamma ray logging data. Out of 35
boreholes studied for disequilibrium, 32 boreholes have shown
average DF signicantly greater than 1 and 3 boreholes have
average DF values close to unity.
Disequilibrium factor for 634 boreholes core samples is listed in
Table 2, which shows an average value of 1.35. This suggests, enrichment of uranium is either due to remobilization of uranium
and deposition at the present locale or leaching of daughter

products of the uranium series leading to an increase in concentration of parent uranium. These features are further supported
by the presence of fractures, faults, felsic and matic intrusive signifying pre- and post-depositional reactivation in the area providing a hydrothermal gradient for remobilization (Ramesh Babu
et al., 2012; Thomas et al., 2014). In addition, the presence of
higher hydrouranium content (o 10 ppb) away from the ore deposit suggests a possible role of groundwater in radioelement
migration and xation at suitable locales (Banerjee et al., 2014).
Hence, the setup is favourable for uranium mineralisation in the
study area.
Core samples of mineralised zones are broadly classied in two
groups i.e. granite (below the unconformity) and cover rock of
Banganapalle quartzite/grit (above the unconformity). Out of 634
core samples, 216 samples are granite hosted samples and 418
samples are from the Banganapalle quartzite/grit. The disequilibrium factor is separately calculated for both types of samples. Average disequilibrium factor for the granite samples is 1.36
as shown in Table 3 and the average disequilibrium factor for
quartzite/grit samples obtained is 1.357 as shown in Table 4. Thus,
the studies clearly indicate that disequilibrium factor is same for
the samples above and below the unconformity contact, irrespective of the different lithic compositions.
4.2. Impact on ore reserve assessment
The presence of disequilibrium in uranium series between
parent uranium and daughter Radium-226 implies that ore grades
of mineralized zones based on total gamma ray logging results
which gives eU3O8 values of mineralized rocks needs to be corrected. The disequilibrium correction factor calculated for core
samples of different ranges of eU3O8 are given in Table 5 and vary
from 1.14 to 1.42.

5. Conclusion
The disequilibrium analysis of the radiometric data on samples
from boreholes of Chenchu colony area of uranium mineralization
has indicated:
1. Presences of strong disequilibrium in favour of parent uranium,
with average DF value of 1.35.
2. DF has been found to be the same in the mineralization hosted
by basement granite as well as quartzite cover rock above the
unconformity.
3. Presence of disequilibrium in mineralized zone implies an upward correction in the ore grades based on total gamma log by a
factor of 1.35. Thus, an additional increase in grade and tonnage
of the total proved resources.

H.B. Shrivastava et al. / Applied Radiation and Isotopes 105 (2015) 163169

Acknowledgment
The authors express sincere thanks to Shri P.S. Parihar, Director,
AMD, Hyderabad for giving permission to publish this Paper. They
also extend their sincere thanks to Dr. A.K. Chaturvedi, Additional
Director (R & D), AMD, Hyderabad for his suggestion and
encouragement.

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