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Vanadium-bearing interlava sediment from the Campbell River area, British Columbia Jambor, John Leslie

Abstract

Vanadium is concentrated in laminated, black carbonaceous, siliceous sedimentary rocks at Menzies Bay and Quadra Island, Campbell River area, British Columbia. The vanadiferous rocks are intercalated with amygdaloidal, porphyritic basalts, andesites, and spilites, many of which are pillowform. The writer has correlated the Menzies Bay, Vancouver Island, flows with the Upper Triassic Texada formation volcanic rocks of Quadra Island. A limited petrographic study of the Texada flows in the area has indicated that pumpellyite is copious and widely distributed. Amygdaloidal greenockite is present in trace amounts. The identification of pumpellyite,regarded as amphibole by earlier writers, marks its first occurrence in British Columbia. In a detailed study of the mineralization associated with the vanadiferous sedimentary rocks, the first British Columbian occurrences were noted for tenorite, brochantite, and cyanotrichite. Malachite and bronchantite were found to be the most abundant supergene copper minerals in the laminated seams. Nearly all the supergene vanadium is present as volborthite, a hydrous copper vanadate common in the Colorado Plateau ores but formerly unknown in Canada. A blue, well-crystallized mineral, thought to be a hydrous copper sulphate, occurs in the Menzies Bay vanadiferous seams in small amounts. This mineral is believed to be a new species. Trace quantities of several other unidentified supergene minerals are present. Among these is a water-soluble vanadate with an x-ray powder pattern similar to that of fernandinite. A previously unidentified opaque material constituting as much as 40 per cent of the laminated rocks has been recognized as an inorganic, volatile carbon substance containing copper and traces of vanadium. The carbonaceous matter is largely epigenetic in the Menzies Bay seams and syngenetic in the Quadra Island sediment. X-ray powder photographs and diffractograms, semi-quantitative spectrograph analyses, and polished thin section studies have delimited the primary vanadium source to the carbonaceous substance. In conjunction with the vanadium problem, an x-ray powder diffraction study was carried out on many type copper and vanadium minerals. Partially the result of this study is an appendix consisting of a compilation of all the known non-uraniferous vanadium minerals. The strongest x-ray powder lines are listed for most of these minerals.

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