Chemical zoning and lattice distortion in uraninite from Olympic Dam, South Australia

Edeltraud Macmillan, Cristiana Ciobanu, Kathy Ehrig, Nigel Cook, Allan Pring

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Compositionally zoned uraninite from the Olympic Dam iron oxide-copper-gold deposit is rarely preserved, but represents an early product of in situ transformation of primary uraninite. Electron backscatter diffraction data (inverse pole figure, image quality, and grain reference orientation deviation mapping) reveal formation of zoned uraninite to be the result of a sequence of superimposed effects rather than from primary growth mechanisms alone. This is the first known microstructural analysis of uraninite showing crystal-plastic deformation of uraninite via formation and migration of defects and dislocations into tilt boundaries. Defining grain-scale characteristics and microstructural features in radiogenically modified minerals like uraninite carries implications in better understanding the processes involved in their formation, highlights limitations in the use of uraninite for U-Pb chemical ages, as well as for constraining the incorporation and release of daughter radioisotopes, especially where zoning, porosity, fractures, and microstructures are present.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2351-2354
    Number of pages4
    JournalAmerican Mineralogist
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


    • chemical zoning
    • EBSD
    • microstructures
    • Olympic Dam
    • tilt boundaries
    • Uraninite


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