GEOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF LAKE VAN (TURKEY) FOR URANIUM-THORIUM DEPOSITION
Journal: Earth Sciences Pakistan (ESP)
Author: Abdullah Mete Özgüner
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Purpose of this study is to prove most probable existence of economical U-Th mineralisations within Tatvan Basin which have been hidden among foreign international research project manuscripts of Lake Van and to inform the importance of national exploration studies. Lake Van is a pull-apart basin formed within Quaternary Muş-Zagros suture zone with right lateral movement. Calculations on heat transfer below the Tatvan Basin indicate that a constant heat flow is about fourty times the continental average which have been only reported from some oceanic ridges. Data indicate the heat source below Tatvan Basin bottom represents a steadily collapsing cauldron subsidence of Nemrut volcano’s magma chamber. Lake Van surface water has mean 76ppb dissolved uranium content of hyrothermal and authigenic origin. It is calculated that there is at least 50.000 tons of dissolved uranium exists in the Lake Van waters. Ultimate deposition of U-Th mineralisation within euxinic Tatvan Basin have been expected to be a continuous process during geologic history of Lake Van as long as uranium resources remain and its NaHCO3 water functions as dissolving agent Sodic Lake Van waters continuously dissolve uranium from 1) high 3He/4He and U-Th containing hydrothermal fluxes of mantle origin coming up through cauldron subsidence faults of Tatvan Basin, 2) per-alkaline rhyolitic volcanic ash rain of Nemrut volcanism, 3) Bitlis granitoid Massive basement, 4) repeated authigenic disentegrations of U to (Th and 4He) within the sedimentary deposites of Tatvan Basin through its 600.000 years history. Tatvan Basin is the deepest basin with 450m depth, 300km2 flat area and constant unoxic basal water table undisturbed by currents and has the following verifications for Quaternary U-Th depositions in the unconsolidated porous sediments: 1) organic mass rich levels with reducing microbial activities, 2) evaporitic dolomites deposited during low stand lake levels with high U-Th concentrations, 3) varved, mixed-layered clays with high hectorite content, 4) sub-aquaeous, basic-intermediate volcanic basement intrusions with reducing properties, 5) measured very low redox potentials in basal environment, 6) very high density of U-Th. Drilling core sequence and the gamma ray logs from Ahlat Ridge have been used in the foreign literature published since 1974 until now while the existence or non-existence of uranium has not been mentioned. Gamma ray logs of drilling cores and their pore water analyses from Tatvan Basin were carried out abroad but not published yet. Thus gamma ray logs belonging only to shallow Ahlat Ridge sequence where uranium mineral precipitation is not possible is misleading.