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Alfred Miles No. 1 channel (Nokai Mesa channel; Channel No. 1), Skeleton Mesa, Nakai Mesa Mining District, Navajo Co., Arizona, USAi
Regional Level Types
Alfred Miles No. 1 channel (Nokai Mesa channel; Channel No. 1)Paleochannel
Skeleton MesaMesa
Nakai Mesa Mining DistrictMining District
Navajo Co.County

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Lock Map
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
36° 53' 20'' North , 110° 25' 2'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Locality type:
Nearest Settlements:
Oljato-Monument Valley674 (2016)21.6km
Oljato-Monument Valley154 (2017)22.9km
Kayenta5,189 (2011)23.0km
Navajo Mountain354 (2011)36.2km
Shonto591 (2011)38.4km
Other/historical names associated with this locality:
Alfred Miles No. 1 paleochannel; Todechenee channel; Peninsula channel

A U-Cu occurrence located in the center sec. 8, T40N, R18E, G&SRM (Boot Mesa 15 minute topo map), 4.4 km (2.7 miles) ENE of Skeleton Mesa (coordinates of record).

An U-Cu deposit in a paleochannel and divided into paleochannels 1 & 2. Trends N50E; 2,150 feet wide, 70 feet deep in massive sandstone. NOTE: extends northward into Utah. Local rocks include rocks of the Chinle Formation.

The Alfred Miles channel No. 1, among the largest noted, can be traced for about 4 miles in Arizona and Utah. The channel is intersected by deep canyons and is broken into segments; channel strata crop out in several localities, and it is on these exposures that claims have been staked by various prospectors. The channel is known by the following names: the Todechenee, Nakai Mesa (C. Clare Gregg, written communication, 1952), Peninsula, and Alfred Miles.

The part of the channel within Arizona is in Navajo County, at lat 36°59'48" N. and long 110°28'6" W. Sources of water and supplies are remote. The channel remnants on both the Arizona and Utah parts of Nakai Mesa are accessible by a graded dirt road. Parts of the channel are on a narrow projection of Hoskinnini Mesa; however, and these can be reached by a pack trail that extends along the projection from the southwest edge of Hoskinnini Mesa. Another route to these channel exposures is along the floor of Copper Canyon. An ungraded dirt road extends westward from the Oljeto trading post, Utah, and ends at the base of the steep slopes that underlie the channel remnants on the projection.

Consolidated sedimentary strata exposed in the Alfred Miles channel No. 1 area range from the Organ Rock tongue of the Cutler formation at the base of the Mesa, to the Shinarump member of the Chinle formation, which forms the canyon rims. About 90 feet of the Shinarump member is exposed, and it commonly stands as a vertical cliff. Where there are channels, the Shinarump member thickens to 120 feet or more. On Nakai Mesa the Shinarump member is covered by dune sand that ranges in thickness from a thin film along mesa edges to 15 feet back from the rim. There is practically no sand cover on the projection of Hoskinnini Mesa. The surface of the Shinarump member is pitted with depressions as much as 20 feet wide and 5 feet deep and marked by irregular hummocks that rise about 20 feet above the general
ground surface.

The Alfred Miles channel No. 1 describes a broad curve. In Arizona its trend is about N. 50° E., but as it is traced northeastward it curves and where it reenters Utah, its trend is to the northwest. The channel is about 2,150 feet wide and has been cut about 70 feet into the Moenkopi formation. Channel strata consist predominantly of massive uniform-textured coarse- grained sandstone that forms cliffs. A few small conglomerate lenses are in the basal strata Claystone boulders, cobbles, and pebbles make up the coarse material. These fragments range in size from small rounded chips about a quarter of an inch in diameter to angular boulders as much as 5 feet in long dimension. In places where the clay fragments have weathered out, the sandstone matrix remains as a fretwork. Much of the clay has been derived from the Moenkopi formation. These fragments can be found in various stages of alteration, from those that are all red and show no alteration, to others that are totally altered and are grayish green. An altered zone, in the uppermost strata of the Moenkopi formation below the channel, ranges in thickness from 2 to 8 inches. This is one of the few channels noted in the Monument Valley area, Arizona, where the altered zone did not thicken under a channel..........

........Discussing the geology of the mineralized deposits found along the base of this channel, C. Clare Gregg (written communication, 1952) states:

Mineralization occurs in the bottom of channels, usually on one side and generally in a roll or gouge where logs and organic trash collect. Generally mineralization is directly above a muddy Moenkopi siltstone, the upper layers of which may be also mineralized. The important associations seem to be carbon in the form of logs of wood trash; and copper, usually as malachite, although many outcrops revealing the characteristic color of copper mineralization contain no uranium.

Regions containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate
Colorado Plateau, USAPlateau
Navajo Nation Indian Reservation, USAReservation
Hopi-Navajo Indian Reservations, Colorado Plateau, Apache; Navajo and San Juan Cos., Arizona & Utah, USA

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded from this region.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

7 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Rock list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

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Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Autunite ?
Formula: Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Reference: Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Cos., AZ: 72 (Table 1) & 74 (Table 1), 145-150.
Formula: Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Description: In basal sediments replacing wood.
Reference: Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Cos., AZ: 72 (Table 1) & 74 (Table 1), 79, 145-150.
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Cos., AZ: 145-150.
Formula: K2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O
Formula: KFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
Reference: Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Cos., AZ: 72 (Table 1) & 74 (Table 1), 145-150.
Formula: (Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Reference: Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Cos., AZ: 72 (Table 1) & 74 (Table 1), 145-150.
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Description: Occurs in basal sediments replacing wood.
Reference: Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Cos., AZ: 72 (Table 1) & 74 (Table 1), 79, 145-150.
'Petrified Wood'
Description: Occurs as inclusions in sedimentary rocks.
Reference: Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Cos., AZ: 72 (Table 1) & 74 (Table 1).
Formula: Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Reference: Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Cos., AZ: 72 (Table 1) & 74 (Table 1), 145-150.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Carnotite4.HB.05K2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Jarosite7.BC.10KFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Autunite ?8.EB.05Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Torbernite8.EB.05Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Petrified Wood'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Jarosite30.2.5.1KFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
AB2(XO4)2·xH2O, containing (UO2)2+
Autunite ?40.2a.1.1Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Carnotite40.2a.28.1K2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O
Torbernite40.2a.13.1Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
'Petrified Wood'-

List of minerals for each chemical element

H TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
H Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
H JarositeKFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
H CarnotiteK2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O
H AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
C AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
C CalciteCaCO3
O TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
O Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
O JarositeKFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
O CalciteCaCO3
O CarnotiteK2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O
O AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
P TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
P AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
S JarositeKFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
K JarositeKFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
K CarnotiteK2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
V CarnotiteK2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O
Fe Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Fe JarositeKFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
Cu TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
U TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
U CarnotiteK2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O
U AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

Early Jurassic - Late Triassic
174.1 - 237 Ma

ID: 3185972
Mesozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Mesozoic (174.1 - 237 Ma)

Lithology: Sandstone-conglomerate

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Norian - Carnian
208.5 - 237 Ma

ID: 2808998
Chinle Formation

Age: Late Triassic (208.5 - 237 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Chinle Formation

Description: Colorful mudstone, such as in the Painted Desert, and less abundant lenses of sandstone and conglomerate, deposited by a large river system. This unit typically is eroded into badlands topography and contains clays that are prone to shrinking and swelling. (210-230 Ma)

Comments: Original map source: Arizona Geological Survey, DI-8 Geologic Map of Arizona, Digital Spatial data for the Geologic Map of Arizona, v. 3.0, edited by S.M. Richard and S.M. Kneale, 2002, 10 p., 2 DOS HD disks. Arc/INFO export file (.e00) format, scale 1:1,000,000.

Lithology: Major:{mudstone}, Minor:{sandstone,conglomerate}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License


Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Witkind, Irving J. & Thaden (1963), Geology and U-V deposits of the Monument Valley area Apache & Navajo Counties, Arizona: 72 (Table 1) & 74 (Table 1), 79, 145-150.
Finch, Warren Irvin (1967), Geology of epigenetic uranium deposits in sandstone in the United States: USGS Professional Paper 538, 121 p.
Scarborough, Robert B. (1981), Radioactive occurrences and uranium production in Arizona, Arizona Bureau of Geology and Mineral Technology Report for U.S. Department of Energy (Atomic Energy Commission), GJBX-143. RME-2071: 217.
Niemuth, N.J. & K.A. Phillips (1992), Copper Oxide Resources, Arizona Department of Mines & Mineral Resources Open File Report 92-10: 11 (Table 1).
Peirce, H.W., S.B. Keith and J.C.Wilt (1970), Coal, oil, natural gas, helium, and uranium in Arizona, Arizona Bureau of Mines Bulletin 182: 217.
U.S. Bureau of Mines (1995), Minerals Availability System/Mineral Industry Location System (MAS/MILS), U.S. Bureau of Mines, file ID #0040170025.
USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, deposit ID #10137623.
US Atomic Energy Commission Preliminary Reconnaissance Report PRR-GJEB-130 (615).
USGS Boot Mesa, Arizona, quadrangle 15 minute topo map.
Marble Canyon NTMS.

USGS MRDS Record:10137623

Localities in this Region
Show map

  • Arizona
    • Navajo Co.
      • Nakai Mesa Mining District
        • Skeleton Mesa

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.
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