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Geological Bulletin . University of Peshawar, Vol. 37, pp.

1-25, 2005

Geochemical aspects of Uranium in the Sumayar Valley,


Northern Areas of Pakistan
IFTIKHAR A. MALIK1, DAVID R. COHEN2 & ALISTAIR C. DUNLOP2 P

1
Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, 13-H/9, Islamabad
2
School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences
UNSW Sydney NSW 2052 Australia

ABSTRACT: The Sumayar valley is located opposite to the Hunza township in the
Northern Areas of Pakistan. The area is in the southern extreme of the Karakoram
Block and close to the Main Karakoram Thrust (MKT), where medium to high-grade
metamorphic rocks are exposed. The Sumayar Pluton, which is a Tertiary tourmaline
leucogranite, crops out in the middle part of the valley. The upper part of the valley is
filled by the Silkiang Glacier and there is a range of glacial sediments deposited
downstream of the glacier.

As part of a study to establish parameters for further detailed geochemical


exploration programs in the region, stream sediments were collected from 12 paired
sites representing adjacent high and low energy hydraulic environments. The coarse
fraction (125-180 m), fine fraction (<125 m) and a pan concentrate (pancon) at each
site were analysed. Samples were also collected from adjacent talus fans, glacial
deposits, avalanche and lacustrine deposits. This paper focuses on the U data from this
sample set.

Uranium contents in the stream sediments range from 1.7 to 35 ppm in the coarse
and fine fractions and 1.5 to 184 ppm in the pancons. Elevated U concentrations are
spatially associated with the granite in both the stream sediments and talus fans. The
presence of slightly elevated U (2 ppm) in one moraine sample indicates U
mineralisation possibly extends further towards south under the cover of ice. Uranium
contents are typically correlated with Sn, Pb, Zr, Ga, Hf and Lu but negatively
correlation with Cr, Cu and Ni. Factor and cluster analysis indicates a strong
relationship between U and other elements typically enriched in leucogranites.

The strongest response to the presence of the U-rich Sumayar Pluton is observed in
the U contents of the fine stream sediments (<125 m) and there does not appear to be
a strong hydraulic influence on this fraction suggesting the U is either
hydromorphically transported or associated with very fine-grained heavy minerals.

INTRODUCTION International Development (AusAID). The


purpose of this survey was to identify target
Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation areas for more detailed gold and base metals
(PMDC) carried out a regional stream exploration. The authors carried out a research
sediments geochemical survey of the Northern program on samples from the Sumayar valley
Areas from 1992 to 2001 with the initial as a follow up program at the University of
assistance by the Australian Agency for New South Wales (UNSW), Australia to
1
determine parameters for detailed future Karakoram Block is obducted onto the
exploration program. Uranium was analysed as Kohistan Island Arc towards south along MKT
a part of 33 elements to find out its that comprises meta-sedimentary volcanics,
relationship with other elements. This paper mlange and pillow lavas with its width
focuses on U data from stream sediments in ranging from ~500 m to over 4000 m.
the Sumayar Valley and consideration of: 1)
Controls on the concentrations of U in stream The Kohistan Island Arc is a large body
sediments, 2) Relationships between U and consisting of several rock units each with its
other elements and source indicators and 3) own geological history. Some of the important
Geochemical exploration methods for U. units are (from north to south): 1) Northern
Volcanics and Sediments that are in contact
REGIONAL GEOLOGY with MKT as a subducted body developed
during Cretaceous to Tertiary time that
Detailed regional geology is summarised by suffered low grade metamorphism, 2)
Kazmi et al. (1997) and Bender et al. (1995) Kohistan Batholith that comprise both un-
along with several other authors referred deformed and deformed bimodal trondjhemite
therein. The structure and plate tectonics are and gabbro-dunite suite. Early deformed
described by Farah et al. (1979), Khan et al. plutons relate to the collision along MKT, 3)
(1989; 1990; 1993), Searle et al. (1986; 1987; Jaglot Schist Group that comprise sedimentary
1989; 1993) and Haq et al. (1984) and general to volcanic rocks with medium to high-grade
geology and petrology by Jan (1979a,b; 1984; metamorphism related to intrusion of igneous
1988), Coward et al. (1987), Chaudhry and rocks, 4) Chilas Complex consisting of mafic
Ghazanfar (1992) and Tahirkheli (1979; 1982), to gabbro - noritic rocks which were emplaced
Shams (1983) and Le Fort et al. (2002), and soon after collision between the Karakoram
geochronology by Baig (1991) and Crawford et and the Kohistan, 5) Southern Amphibolites
al. (1993). Regional geochemistry has been that are considered to be formed both from
summarised by Halfpenny and Mazzuchelli and tholeiitic and calcalkaline magmas generated
Malik (2004). in the island arc and oceanic setting. Besides
these there are wide range of plutonic rocks
The Northern Area, in which the Sumayar and metasediments. The rocks have undergone
valley occurs, is composed of the following two phases of deformation and metamorphism.
major tectonic units (from north to south): 1) Some of the granitic rocks in the amphibolite
The Karakoram-Asian Plate commonly known and Kohistan Batholith may have been
as the Karakoram Block, 2) Main Karakoram developed due to partial melting of
Thrust (MKT) Zone (Chalt Volcanic), 3) The amphibolite and 6) Jijal Complex of which the
northern part of the Kohistan island arc, 4) northern half consists of garnet granulite and
Main Mantle Thrust and 5) The Indo-Pak Plate the southern half by the ultra-mafic bodies that
(Nanga Parbat- Harmosh Massif). are layered at places.

The Karakoram Block is bounded by the The Main Mantle Thrust (MMT) is a zone
South Pamir Fault in the north (Desio, 1979), formed as a result of collision in between the
Karakoram Fault in the east, Sarobi Fault Kohistan island arc in the north and the Indo-
towards west and the Main Karakoram Thrust Pakistan plate towards south. Generally this
(MKT) in the south. It is an east-west trending zone comprises ultramafic rocks and
block with sedimentary to meta-sedimentary melanges. The Nanga Parbat- Harmosh Massif
rocks towards the north and metamorphic suit (NPHM) is the extreme northern margin of the
towards the south. The Karakoram Batholith is Indo-Pakistan plate forming an N-S antiform
outcropped in between the two. The subducted under the Kohistan magmatic arc in

2
the north during Palaeocene. It consists of sediments from low-energy stream sites as an
high-grade Precambrian basement gneisses effective alternative to panned concentrates.
that have been overprinted by Himalayan
metamorphism. Besides there are young LOCATION AND ACCESSIBILITY OF THE
granitic rocks generally undeformed SUMAYAR VALLEY
containing precious stones like green
tourmaline, aquamarine, topaz and garnet. The Sumayar valley is located at Latitude 36
Very young granitic rocks of Plio- Pleistocene 08 to 36 19 and Longitude 74 37 to 74 45
age have also been recorded which are related (Figs.1 & 2). The valley is opposite to Hunza
to very rapid uplift and denudation. The (Karimabad) township located 65 km north of
maximum rising of the massif during the last Gilgit along the Karakoram high way (KKH).
10Ma has been reported as 7 mm/yr. The Sumayar valley is connected to the KKH
by a hanging bridge over the Hunza River 3
PREVIOUS GEOCHEMICAL WORK IN km south of Karimabad. Sumayar village is
THE REGION accessible by road and beyond that on a foot
track.
Systematic geochemical survey of the
entire Northern Areas was carried out by LOCAL GEOLOGY OF THE SUMAYAR
PMDC under the technical and financial VALLEY
assistance of AusAID from 1992 to 2001.
About 50000 sq km area was covered by The Sumayar Valley is mainly occupied by
collecting 4096 samples (2296 samples of 80 Dumordo Formation (Tahirkheli, 1979)
m and 1800 of pan concentrates) consisting intruded by the Sumayar leucogranite (Fig. 2).
of coarse, fine and panned concentrate The Dumordo Formation contains gneisses,
(pancon) samples from 2200 sites (PMDC, amphibolite, mafic to ultra-mafic rocks and
2001). Eight elements (i.e., Au, Ag, Cu, Pb, marble. According to Le Fort and Pecher
Zn, Ni, Ba and Co) were routinely analysed. (2002) the Sumayar pluton occurs between
Authors of the PMDC report have enlisted two thrust lines as the eastern part of the
1206 geochemical anomalies (single or multi- pluton is highly sheared. Subunits dip towards
element) in the pancon and 981 in the 80 m, the north but the trend has been highly
besides identifying 6 gold-bearing host rocks. disturbed by the intrusion of granite. In a
MINORCO subsequently re-analysed 1225 recent study, Le Fort and Pecher (2002) have
panned concentrates and 1373 80 m coined this group of rocks as terrigenous with
samples from the central part of the region for minor conglomerates and marble beds.
34 elements (MINORCO 1997). Neither of However, petrographic studies of the various
these studies included analysis of U. However floats collected from the Sumayar stream
MINORCO concluded that there is no major reveal a much wider range of lithologies
primary gold mineralisation in the area as the including the following rock types: 1)
data did not show any relation with a typical Metaphyllite, 2) Schist (calcareous, chlorite,
pathfinder suite (W-As-Hg-Sb). Halfpenny biotite, garnetmica, sillimanite, staurolite and
and Mazzuchelli (1999), however, graphite schists), 3) Leucogranite and granitic
recommended sampling of sub-micron gneiss, 4) Limestone and marble beds and 5)
Quartz and calcitic vein material.

3
3615

3600

7415 7430

Fig. 1. Location map of the Sumayar valley, Nagar.

4
Fig. 2. Geological map of the Sumayuar area (Le Fort et al., 2002)

5
The Middle Hunza valley, incorporating laths is suggestive of higher water contents.
the Sumayar valley, lies to the north of MKT The high boron (B) contents, reflected by
and the rocks are believed to form the southern tourmaline and high Sr/Nd isotopic ratios
margin of Karakoram-Asian Plate prior to indicate a mature metapelitic source. The
collision of the Kohistan Island Arc between zircon abundance (40.4 ppm) gives a
102 and 87 Ma (Treloar et al., 1989). Low- magmatic temperature estimate of about 680
grade metapelites and limestone in the north C that places the magma close to the granite
are separated from sillimanite-grade wet melting curve. Crawford and Searle
metamorphic rocks to the south by a large (1993) concludes a vapour-absent melt, due to
calc-alkaline quartz diorite-granodiorites muscovite breakdown, as a cause for the
pluton as a first phase of Hunza plutonic generation of the Sumayar pluton.
complex within Karakoram Axial Belt
(Crawford et al., 1992) that was intruded GEOMORPHOLOGY
approximately 95 Ma (Le Fort et al., 1987).
The southern part of the pluton and pelitic, The area is a part of Trans-Himalayas with an
calcareous and basic volcanic rocks up to average altitude of about 6000 m. The ranges
MKT were affected by southward thrusting include northern Hindukush, the Deosai plains,
related to continental collision and continued the Laskar Mountains and the Karakoram
convergence of Indo-Pakistan and Karakoram- Range. There are six peaks above 8000 m,
Asian Plate since 50 Ma (Searle et al., 1987). including K2, which is the second highest
Deformation accompanied metamorphism and mountain (8611 m) and 35 peaks over 7000 m.
thrusting brought deeper level rocks southwards The area hosts some of the largest glaciers in
over cooler higher level rocks so that metamorphic the world outside Antarctica. Sumayar village
grade increases with structural heights. is open throughout the year but the upper
Metamorphic grade increases northward from valley is permanently covered by snow. The
greenschist-grade to phyllites near MKT through area is largely barren of vegetation. The
staurolite-grade metapelites to sillimanite grade weather is extreme and flash flooding
metamorphic and calc-silicates containing following high rainfall events are common.
forsterite and diopside at the contact with the There is also a strong diurnal fluctuation in
Hunza Pluton Complex (HPC). The main changes stream flows during summer.
in metamorphic grade occurred across thrust zone
while deformation ceased by 37 Ma (Searle et al. The Sumayar valley rises from 2,000 m at
1989). its mouth in the north to over 7,000 m towards
the south along a stretch of 15 km distance.
Crawford and Searle (1993) has suggested The highest peak, Diran (7257 m), is in the
that two post-collision magmatic groups are southern part of the valley. There are several
distinguished as Hunza dykes and Sumayar tributaries to the principal stream. The valley
pluton with a possible thermal history ranging can be divided into three geomorphological
from 2.7 to 16.9 Ma (Debon et al., 1996). units:
Accordingly the Sumayar pluton consists of a
homogeneous leucogranite emplaced in i. The Upper part
staurolite-grade zone. It forms a large, Upper reaches (southern part) of the valley are
homogenous body 4 km across with sharp extremely rugged, generally covered with ice
intrusive contacts and a small contact aureole and a permanent glacier known as Silkiang.
of slates about 50 m wide. The pluton contains There is almost no vegetation. The valley can
>2% tourmaline as its primary phase while be conveniently further divided into two parts
garnet is common phase except at the margins. - the extreme upper zone that is occupied by a
The presence of biotite within large muscovite permanent glacier (Silkiang) and till/morainal
6
sediments and the lower part that is of designated as a high energy environment trap
relatively low gradient with meandering of the and the downstream tip of the point bar as a
principal stream. At places it is occupied with low energy environment. About 25 kg of 7 m
avalanche and materials from lateral morains. material at each trap-site was collected by wet
sieving into a bucket. Out of this material 1.5
ii. The Middle part 2 kg of material was further wet sieved to
The middle to lower Sumayar valley is a deep obtain 125 m material (the fine fraction) and
gorge that is flanked on both sides by high 125-180 m material (the coarse fraction).
cliffs, probably due to outcropping of the These fractions were preserved in cloth bags
Sumayar granite. Old moraines, with a mix of which were later air dried. Pancon samples
talus fans and fluvial material, are developed were prepared from the remaining material by
on both side of the stream. The principal wet sieving and panning until a heavy
stream is extremely narrow in the upper but is concentrate of 70 to 100 g was obtained for
slightly wider in its lower part where sediment each sample. Talus and other media were
load is settled as bar-point deposits. Compared sampled in similar fashion.
to the bar-points developed at the upper
reaches these bar-points are larger and less About 11 g of material was milled in a
curved. There is also no vegetation in this part carbide-tungsten steel-grinding mill from 30 to
of the valley. During winter the area is 45 seconds. Very fine fraction material (-63
generally under deep snow. m) was not milled. The resulting material
was made into aluminium-backed disks using
iii. The Lower part Elvanol binder (a polyvinyl acetate solution).
The Lower part of the valley is wide and open. Due to friability, the pancon milled samples
A mixture of old terraces and moraines flank were remilled with 50% quartz filler. Total
the stream on both sides. Talus fans are well geochemical analysis of the samples was
developed along the valley sides. There is performed on the disks using XRF at UNSW
agriculture activity on the terraces but the followed by INAA by Actlabs, Canada. Data
remaining areas of skeletal soil are devoid of quality was maintained using in-house
any vegetation. The stream is deeper and flows reference materials.
mostly as a single channel. Before joining the
Hunza River in the north, the valley mouth is RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
deeply incised.
Basic data
Sampling and analysis Basic data of uranium for different fractions
In this study, stream sediment sampling was under high and low energy conditions of the
carried out at paired sites representing high principal stream sediment and other
and low hydraulic energy environments. Bar geomorphic units (talus fans etc.) is produced
point deposits developed along and within the at Appendix 1a and 1b. The data has been
active principal channel were selected for divided into upper, middle and lower part of
sampling purpose. Talus fans, glacier, the valley depending upon the geomorphic
moraines, avalanche and lacustrine beds were conditions of the valley. Ratio of uranium
also sampled to determine their geochemical between high and low energy samples is given
relationship to exposed rocks as well as the in Appendix 1c. Thorium uranium ratio data is
stream sediments. given in Appendix 1d. The stream sediment
and talus fan data has been statistically
Stream sediment samples were collected summarised in Appendix 2a and 2b.
using a plastic pan. Trap sites were selected on
point bars with the nose of the point bar
Main data trends
7
The U content of the three fractions are preventing contribution of U to the stream
analysed and presented in Figure 3 and their from the adjacent talus fans.
trend in the principal stream is drawn in Figure
4 and compared with Th/U ratio. The overall All non-stream sediment materials
U data trend for all stream sediment displayed a consistent but relatively small
components is relatively low concentrations in increase in U concentrations as grain size
the upper stream reaches, a significant increase decreases (sufficient <63 m material for
over the Sumayar Pluton in the middle reaches analysis could not be extracted from the
of the stream and some further concentration stream sediments). With a ~5 ppm threshold
in the lower reaches of the stream. This trend for the stream sediments and with most values
is most prominent in the fine fraction. below this threshold upstream of the pluton
Although the pancons contain high U contents and the lateral morains that protect the stream
than the other two fractions, all three media from influx of sediment from the surrounding
display similar patterns and U concentrations valley wall, it is difficult to determine whether
in adjacent high and low energy environments there is a significant difference between the
with slightly higher U contents in the fine effect of the pluton and the surrounding
fraction than the coarse fraction. This suggests metasediments on the stream sediment U
U has a significant hydromorphic transport concentrations.
component. The impact of the Sumayar pluton
is greatest in the pancon samples, although this Elevated U values in some avalanche
fraction displays limited variation between samples and 16 ppm U in a sample of the
high and low energy environments. metamorphic rocks upstream of the pluton
indicate that there may be zones of U
mineralisation in the metamorphic rocks.
Contrary to the downstream increase in U,
especially across the pluton, the Th/U ratio
Exploration data analysis (EDA)
consistently decreases downstream in the
The U distributions are presented for each
coarse and fine fractions with little indication
fraction under high and low energy
of influence by the Sumayar pluton. The ratio
environments using box plots (Appendix 3)
of U between adjacent high and low energy
and probability plots (Appendix 4a, b & c).
samples display no significant spatial trends in
There are few samples forming outlier. The
any of the fractions analysed. In the pancons,
spread of values in the fine fraction of low
however, there is a more dramatic decrease in
energy environments is substantially greater
this ratio in the upper section of the stream and
than the spread for high energy environments.
a smoother trend in the low energy
The range of U values in the pancons is similar
environment samples.
for high and low energy environments but less
skewed in the low energy environment. With
The talus fans and avalanche deposits
the exception of low energy pancon population
display greater U concentrations than the
(U-6) all the remaining stream sediment
stream sediments upstream of the pluton, but
fractions and the talus fan materials display
similar concentrations within the pluton zone,
lognormal distributions and mixed populations
suggesting the metasediments are significant
relating to input from background values, a
contributors to the stream U contents. It also
mineralized zone around the granite and
indicates that geological units upstream of the
outliers.
glacier contain low U values and that the
morains extending below the glacier are

8
K KH
HUNZA U
r
Rive
56 Hun
za Stream seds
000mN
20 ppm

Hi
SUMAYAR

sp
ar
10

R.
1
m m m
00 00 00
54 30 30 30

Talus /
0 0 00 00
avalanche
34 34 34
(l) 20 ppm
52 (k) 10
1

3800 3800 3800 Pancon


42 42 42
50 00 00 00 250 ppm
(j)
125
(i)
(h) 5
(g)
48 (f) Site (a)
4600

4600

4600

(e) Site Energy


420

420

420

(d)
0

46 (c) High Low


(b)
(a)
Sumayar
pluton
44
Alluvium
Silk

500
500

500

Lat. moraine
iang

0
0

Glacier
Glac
ier

42 54
00
54
00
54
00
Stream

41 42 43 41 42 43 41 42 43 000mE

Coarse fraction Fine fraction Pancons


(125-180m) (<125m)

Fig. 3. Uranium content of the coarse (125-180 m), fine (<125 m) and pancon component of
active stream channel sediments, Sumayar valley.

9
Coarse Fraction
downstream
30 12
U (ppm)

20 8

Th/U
10 4

0 0

Fine Fraction
30 8

6
U (ppm)

20

Th/U
4
10
2

0 0

Pancon
25 30

20
U (ppm)

20
Th/U

15

10
10
5

0 0
a b c d e f g h i j k l a b c d e f g h i j k l
Site Site

Site environment
High energy
Sumayar pluton zone Low energy

Fig. 4. Downstream section representing U content and Th/U ratio of the coarse (125-180 m),
fine (<125 m) and pancon component of active stream channel sediments, Sumayar
valley.

10
Results of both F and t-test are indicative high-low energy environments) of any element
that there is no significant variability in the in the dataset.
means in between the high and low energy
samples (Table 2). This conclusion is equally Correlation
supported by the ANOVA in which both one- All fractions display strong correlation
way and two-way models incorporating between the U contents of adjacent high and
differences between coarse and fine fractions, low energy environment samples (Table 4,
and between high and low energy environment Fig. 2). The coarse fraction U contents are
do not show any significant sources of clustered towards lower values; the fine
additional variance beyond inter-site variation fraction shows a bimodal distribution whereas
(Table 3). Uranium displays the greatest the pancon samples appear to show highest U
proportion of total variance related to variation correlation between high and low energy
between sites (as opposed to between paired samples.

TABLE 1. PROBABILITY PLOT-BASED POPULATION ARTITIONING OF U DATA


(VALUES IN PPM)

Population 2 Population 2
Coarse fraction <3 3 - 10
Fine fraction <6 6 - 10
Pancon < 10 10 - 70

TABLE 2. COMPARISON OF F-TEST AND T-TEST OF U PARAMETERS FROM HIGH


AND LOW ENERGY ENVIRONMENTS

U-1/U-2 U-3/U-4 U-5/U-6


t-Test: Equivalences of means
P (T<=t) two-tail 0.483 0.834 0.795
F-Test: Equivalence of variances
P (F<=f) two-tail 0.725 0.916 0.907

TABLE 3. ANOVA FOR U

Fraction Source df SS MS %variance F


125-180 m Among sites 11 658 59.8 88.3 7.58
High vs low 12 95 7.9 11.7
<125 m Among sites 10 1348 134.8 88.6 7.73
High vs low 11 192 17.4 11.4
Pancon Among sites 11 130493 11863.0 92.8 12.96
High vs low 12 10987 915.6 7.2

TABLE 4. CORRELATION BETWEEN U CONTENTS OF FRACTIONS IN BETWEEN


HIGH AND LOW ENERGY PAIRED SITES

Coarse Fraction Fine Fraction Pancon


Corr. coef. 0.76 0.78 0.84

11
In general, U tends to be positively correlated low energy) displays similar patterns to the coarse
with other heavy or incompatible elements and fraction (U-1 and U-2 fractions of high and low
negatively correlated with the siderophile energy) suggesting the little mineralogical
elements, however correlation patterns are difference between these two fractions. The
complex (Table 5). Not all fractions display pancon samples (U-5 & U-6 fractions of high and
consistent positive or negative correlation with the low energy environment) show the closest
different uranium fractions (e.g. La and Rb). High agreement between high and low energy
energy U in the coarse fraction is positively environments, but this may be a function of an
correlated with Ga, Pb, Rb and Sn but negatively overall higher degree of correlation or
correlated with Cr, Cu, La, and Ni. anticorrelation between elements. Uranium is
strongly correlated with all other heavy elements
The fine fraction (U-3 & U-4 of high and in the pancons.

U1

U2

U3

U4

U5

U6

Fig. 5. Scatter plot matrix for U between various stream sediment fractions, Sumayar valley.

12
TABLE 5. CORRELATION BETWEEN U AND OTHER ELEMENTS IN VARIOUS
STREAM SEDIMENT FRACTIONS, SUMAYAR VALLEY

Coarse Fraction Fine Fraction Pancons


High Low High Low High Low
U-1 U-2 U-3 U-4 U-5 U-6
As -0.50 ns -0.50 0.51 ns ns
Au ns ns ns 0.79 0.65 ns
Ba ns 0.44 ns ns ns 0.64
Ca -0.91 ns -0.79 ns -0.41 -0.47
Ce -0.46 ns ns 0.80 0.85 ns
Cr -0.70 ns -0.78 ns ns ns
Cs 0.95 0.44 0.92 0.59 0.51 ns
Cu -0.78 ns ns ns -0.59 -0.61
Eu 0.76 ns -0.50 0.74 0.88 ns
Fe -0.77 ns -0.78 ns 0.41 ns
Ga 0.93 0.59 0.85 ns ns 0.48
Hf ns 0.54 ns 0.92 0.83 0.61
La -0.64 ns ns 0.81 0.87 0.57
Lu ns 0.89 ns 0.92 0.98 0.92
Nb ns 0.71 0.52 0.84 0.85 0.70
Nd -0.59 ns ns 0.73 0.84 0.50
Ni -0.96 -0.51 -0.96 -0.71 -0.64 -0.54
Pb 0.94 0.83 0.92 0.76 Ns ns
Rb 0.91 ns 0.89 ns -0.60 ns
Sc -0.85 ns -0.81 ns 0.68 0.57
Sn 0.59 0.87 0.52 0.82 0.83 ns
Sr -0.88 -0.70 -0.83 0.54 ns ns
Ta 0.44 0.86 0.51 0.82 0.90 0.93
Th ns 0.41 0.76 0.61 0.87 0.73
Ti -0.68 ns -0.62 0.61 ns -0.62
V -0.75 ns -0.81 ns ns -0.54
Zn ns ns 0.78 ns ns ns
Zr ns 0.68 0.78 0.85 0.77 0.50
ns = not significant at 5% (t-values are suggestive that significant values are at 0.58 and above)

Factor analysis association between U and mafic-associated


Factor analysis was completed for U and 32 elements. It is not clear whether the patterns
other elements for each of the stream sediment for U are more strongly influenced by
components but without differentiating high lithological source or transportation/ deposition
and low energy sites (Table 6 & Fig. 6). In processes, however, U is more closely
most instants, U is strongly associated with associated with a granitic suite of elements in
factors containing high loadings for heavy and the fine and coarse fractions and with the heavy
other incompatible elements typically found in mineral association in the pancons.
fractionated granites. There is no obvious

13
TABLE 6. FACTORS CONTAINING SIGNIFICANT U LOADINGS

Factor Coarse Fraction Fine Fraction Pancon


2 Cs, Ga, Na, Pb, Rb, Ta, U, Ca, Cr, Ni, Ca,
Zn (Ba), (Cs), (Ga), (Na), (Au), (Ce), (Cs), (Hf),
(Nb), (Pb), (Rb), (Sn), (Ta), (Nb), (Nd), (Sn), (Th),
(U), (Zr) (U), (Zr)
3 (Cr), (Cu), (Eu), (Fe), (Ni), Ba, Cr, Fe, Hf, Ni, Sc, Sr, U,
(Sc), (Sr), (Ti), (V), (Zn) Ti, V (Cu), (Ni), (Sr), (Ti)
4 Ba, Hf, Sr, Zr, Ba, Cs,
(Ni) (As), (Cr), (Cu), (Pb), (U), (Ni), (Pb)
(Zn)
6 As, Cu, Zn Lu, Tb, U, Yb Nd, Sn

Coarse Fraction Fine Fraction


U Sn Ba Cr
Fe V
Pb 0.5 Ni Ti
0.0
Nb
Second Factor

Zr
Au Ba
Hf
Zr Nd Th Hf La
As Ce 0.0
Zn Au Nd
-0.4 La As Ce
Cu Cu Th

Ni -0.5 Zn
Fe Sn Nb
-0.8
V Ti U
Cr Pb
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 0.0 0.4 0.8

First Factor
Pancon
1.0 Hf Zr
Nd
U Th
Second Factor

Lu Ce Nb
0.5
Sn
Au
Fe
Pb
Ba As Cr
0.0
Zn
V
Cu Ni Ti

0.0 0.5 1.0

First Factor

Fig. 6. Plot of first two factor scores for stream sediment data, Sumayar valley.

14
Anomalous distribution of uranium in the 3. Variations in the energy of sites within the
Sumayar valley streams affect the U content of the
Stream and non-stream data of coarse, fine and sediments to a lesser extent than the other
pancon fractions have been analysed by elements suggesting that the dominant
drawing probability (Appendix 4) and boxplot control on U transport is hydromorphic
diagrams (Appendix 5). Anomalous values rather than mechanical, despite the close
range from 3-10 ppm for coarse, 6-10 ppm for associate between U and heavy mineral
fine and 10-70 ppm for pancon samples. associated elements.
4. The finer fraction (<125 m) of the
Anomalous distribution of coarse, fine stream sediments provides a slightly
and pancon fractions (Fig. 7) appear to be stronger response to U mineralisation in
bimodal, forming concentration at two levels, the Sumayar pluton and displays less
the one at 3-6 ppm and the second at 8-10 variability related to local environmental
ppm. There is sporadic mineralization in the factors than coarser sediments (125 180
upper reaches with a sudden increase in and m) or pan cons.
around leuco-granite area. In the lower reaches 5. Close spaced geochemical survey of all
the concentration ranges from 6-10 ppm. the tributaries and adjoining rocks may be
Uranium close to granite ranges from 4-15 undertaken besides radioactive survey to
ppm. There may be equal possibility of locate U mineralization zones/host rock(s)
uranium occurring in veins and pegmatites etc. in the Sumayar valley.
Pan concentrate anomalies are confined to the
upper and middle part of the valley ranging
from 20-30 ppm and 40 to 50 ppm. Acknowledgements: The authors are thankful
to Mr. Zahid Asghar, Asstt. Professor, Quaid-
CONCLUSIONS i-Azam University (Statistical Department),
Islamabad and Mr. Rizwan Yousuf, Asstt.
1. Geochemical studies of stream sediments, Professor (Statistics), Government College,
talus fans, glaciers and other materials Sector-H/8, Islamabad for their useful
indicate the presence of U mineralization discussions on statistical analysis. Mr. Arsalan
in the Sumayar valley. Malik, Software Engineer, for his help in
2. The spatial distribution of the U and factor drawing various maps and over all assistance
analysis suggest two main sources of for overcoming computer problems. PMDC
elevated U in the valley: authorities are also thanked for clearance of
(a) Epigenetic U mineralisation in the this article. Field and laboratory work for this
leucogranite and associated veins, along project was supported by a UNSW URSP
with elevated Sn and minor Au. grant to DRC and ACD.
(b) Dispersed mineralisation in metamorphic
rocks.

15
Fig. 7. Anomalous distribution of uranium in the Sumayar valley.

16
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Tingdong,L., Xuchang, S., Jan, M. Q.,

18
APPENDIX 1a. URANIUM CONCENTRATIONS (PPM) IN STREAM SEDIMENT
FRACTIONS DERIVED FROM HIGH AND LOW ENERGY SITES,
SUMAYAR VALLEY

High Energy Samples Low Energy Samples


Coarse Fine Coarse Fine
Fraction Fraction Fraction Fraction
Site Samples Pancon Pancon
(125- (<125 (<125- (<125
180m) m) 180m) m)
U-1 U-3 U-5 U-2 U-4 U-6
a 6, 7 1.7 2.8 5.0 2.0 2.5 1.5

b 8, 9 2.8 3.3 6.5 2.3 2.9 6.7

Upper c 10, 11 2.2 3.5 30.0 2.8 3.4 8.2


valley
d 13, 14 2.2 3.3 6.4 1.9 4.5 6.6

e 15, 16 2.4 5.2 6.2 3.8 6.3 46.0

f 18, 19 8.1 6.8 158.0 4.6 7.2 64.0


Geomorphic
section g 1, 2 2.3 4.8 6.0 3.8 3.9 29.0

Middle h 3, 4 3.9 3.9 22.0 7.6 8.1 70.0


valley
i 20, 21 6.3 9.6 48.0 8.1 14.0 98.0

j 22, 23 8.4 9.2 128.0 20.0 22.0 120.0

k 67, 68 21.0 35.0 184.0 18.0 23.0 142.0


Lower
valley l 65, 66 10.0 19.0 182.0 6.6 13.0 152.0

19
APPENDIX 1b. URANIUM CONCENTRATIONS (PPM) IN OTHER GEOMORPHIC UNITS,
SUMAYAR VALLEY

Material Samples <63 m 63-125 m 125-180 m


Ablation till 41 2.4 2.3 1.8
42 3.4 1.9 2.5
Avalanche 36 9.3 5.9 3.5
37 7.2 4.8 2.7
26 5.8 5.0 5.2
27 6.2 5.4 4.7
Lateral moraine 60 4.2 4.4 4.2
69 - 6.6 7.2
Lacustrine sediments 59 2.8 2.7 -
70 - 10 6.0
Talus fans 51 25 18 14
52 24 15 17
53 23 15 15
54 7 4.1 5.3
47 30 20 18
48 28 21 17
49 23 19 17
30 11 7 6.4
31 34 11 7.8
32 17 10 7.9
33 12 7.5 6.1
34 20 7.7 5.7
55 25 8.6 7.1
56 21 7.3 5.0
57 8.7 4.2 3.8

20
APPENDIX 1c. RATIO OF U IN HIGH AND LOW ENERGY ENVIRONMENTS, SUMAYAR
VALLEY

High to Low energy environment U ratio


Site Coarse Fraction Fine Fraction Pancon
U1/U2 U3/U4 U5/U6
6, 7 0.9 0.7 1.1
8, 9 1.2 0.7 1.1
Upper 10, 11 0.8 0.8 1
13, 14 1.2 0.6 0.7
15, 16 0.6 0.7 0.8
Geomorphic 18, 19 1.8 0.7 0.9
section 1, 2 0.6 0.8 1.2
Middle 3, 4 0.5 1.9 0.5
20, 21 0.8 0.8 0.7
22, 23 0.4 2.2 0.4
67, 68 1.2 0.5 1.5
Lower
65, 66 1.5 0.3 1.5

APPENDIX 1d. TH/U RATIO OF THE STREAM SEDIMENT SAMPLES, SUMAYAR


VALLEY

Th-1/U-1 Th-2/U-2 Th-3/U-3 Th-4/U-4 Th-5/U-5 Th-6/U-6


10.06 8.10 6.50 6.84 7.44 28.20
9.64 8.91 7.03 5.34 15.34 8.90
Upper valley 10.00 8.11 5.31 6.62 2.21 4.34
5.95 11.16 6.03 4.76 7.53 7.33
6.46 4.97 4.15 4.13 5.26 1.48
2.10 3.74 3.32 3.11 0.67 1.15
6.39 4.16 3.92 4.41 7.70 3.34
Middle valley 4.49 2.42 4.36 2.74 2.56 0.71
3.14 2.64 2.36 1.90 1.47 0.93
2.15 1.22 2.78 1.40 0.72 0.68
0.51 1.08 0.86 1.08 0.66 0.58
Lower valley 2.11 2.58 1.96 3.15 0.81 0.74

21
APPENDIX 2a BASIC STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF U IN STREAM SEDIMENTS (IN
PPM)

Coarse Fraction Fine Fraction Pancon


125-180 m 63-125 m
High Energy Low Energy High Energy Low Energy High Energy Low Energy
U-1 U-2 U-3 U-4 U-5 U-6
N 12 12 12 12 12 12
Mean 5.9 6.8 8.9 9.2 65.2 62.0
Geo. Mean 4.3 5.0 6.3 7.0 27.2 31.1
Median 3.4 4.2 5.0 6.8 26.0 55.0
Std. Dev. 5.6 6.1 9.4 7.2 74.6 55.0
Kurtosis 4.7 1.5 5.7 0.0 -1.3 -1.3
Skewness 2.0 1.6 2.4 1.1 0.8 0.5
Minimum 1.7 1.9 2.8 2.5 5.0 1.5
Maximum 21.0 20.0 35.0 23.0 184.0 152.0
Q-1 2.3 2.7 3.5 3.8 6.4 7.8
Q-3 8.2 7.7 9.3 13.3 135.5 103.5

APPENDIX 2b. BASIC STATISTICAL SUMMARY FOR U IN TALUS FANS (IN PPM)

Coarse Fraction Fine Fraction Very Fine Fraction


125-180 m 63-125 m <63 m
N 12 12 12
Mean 19.0 9.6 8.4
Geo. Mean 17.2 8.7 7.6
Median 21.0 8.0 7.0
St. Dev 8.0 4.4 4.4
Kurtosis -0.5 -0.4 -0.1
Skewness 0.1 0.7 1.1
Minimum 7.0 4.1 3.8
Maximum 34.0 18.0 17.0
Q-1 11.8 7.2 5.6
Q-3 20.5 8.2 6.8

22
APPENDIX 3. BOX PLOT DIAGRAMS FOR STREAM SEDIMENTS URANIUM FRACTIONS

23
APPENDIX 4. NORMAL AND LOG NORMAL DISTRIBUTION OF U IN THE SUMAYAR
VALLEY

24
APPENDIX 5. BOX PLOTS FOR COARSE, FINE AND PANCON SEDIMENTS, SUMAYAR

25