During the late 1970s and early 1980s the Department of Energy, with assistance from the national laboratories and the U.S. Geological Survey, conducted a uranium resource assessment of the U.S., including Alaska (the National Uranium Resource Evaluation or NURE program). As part of this assessment, a hydrogeochemical and stream sediment reconnaissance (HSSR) survey was conducted of nearly the entire U.S. Although originally intended to assist uranium exploration and resource estimates, these data have had a wide variety of uses in exploring for other minerals and providing geochemical baseline information for environmental assessments. The U.S. Geological Survey became the archivist for this data under an agreement with the Department of Energy and has since placed a reformatted version of the entire dataset online. Information about this dataset and access to its components can be found at http://tin.er.usgs.gov/nure/sediment/ (compiled from USGS OFR 97-0492). A great deal of additional mineral resource, geological, geochemical, and geophysical data about the U.S. can be found at http://tin.er.usgs.gov/.
From 1948 to 1956 the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) sponsored a broad program of uranium exploration designed to identify resources of
uranium for government procurement. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assisted in this effort by providing geologic mapping, airborne radioactivity
and other geophysical surveys, geologic framework investigations, and site-specific exploration supported by drilling. Under this program contract
drilling was performed by the USGS as well as the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) and numerous private operators. Drilling was concentrated near areas
of known or suspected uranium mineralization within the Colorado Plateau, (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico), and in Wyoming and South Dakota.
AEC-acquired claims, private claims, Indian (Native American) lands, or lands temporarily withdrawn from the public domain were explored. If economic
deposits of uranium were discovered the AEC would lease favorable lands under their control to private developers in return for a royalty on ore
production. If no economic deposits were identified the withdrawn land was returned to the public domain. Drilling activity and estimates of contained
uranium resources were tabulated in various report series published by the AEC (RME, RMO) or USGS (TEM, TEI Reports, TM Reports). The AEC leasing
program was terminated in 1962. Some of the AEC lands that were leased for uranium exploration and exploitation were included in a second uranium
leasing program that was initiated in 1974 and is administered today by the US Department of Energy (
Additional records of drilling activity in the form of paper and Mylar logs that recorded down-hole lithologic and radiologic information were collected and archived by the AEC. In 1974 when the AEC was abolished, these well logs were retained by the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), and in 1977 transferred to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The well logs were retained in the Grand Junction, Colorado Field Office of the DOE until 1987 when they were transferred to the USGS in Denver. From 2012 to 2017 the USGS worked with students and interns to scan all of the available logs into digital format for distribution to the public. The available well logs do not encompass all of the drilled holes or all of the exploration areas and are therefore an incomplete collection. However these scans are a significant public resource that is now available online.
Well headers for the logs do not contain sufficient information to georeference the well locations. However, summary reports of drilling activity in the RME, RMO, and TEI series often included maps showing drill hole locations. The scanned logs can be downloaded by state (see below), and a list of references compiled by USGS geologists for the drilled regions is also available for download here. Digital versions of most of these TEI Reports and many other USGS reports are also available from the USGS Publications Warehouse at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov
Questions about the Atomic Energy Commission well log database should be directed to Susan Hall, email@example.com, 303-236-1656.
Arizona (3.6 GB) (https://certmapper.cr.usgs.gov/data/uranium/wells/Arizona_Scans_Data.zip)
Colorado (1.0 GB) (https://certmapper.cr.usgs.gov/data/uranium/wells/Colorado_Scans_Data.zip)
New Mexico (173 MB) (https://certmapper.cr.usgs.gov/data/uranium/wells/New_Mexico_Scans_Data.zip)
South Dakota (150 MB) (https://certmapper.cr.usgs.gov/data/uranium/wells/South_Dakota_Scans_Data.zip)
Wyoming (371 MB) (https://certmapper.cr.usgs.gov/data/uranium/wells/Wyoming_Scans_Data.zip)