Molybdenum-uranium-vanadium geochemistry in the lower Paleozoic Alum Shale of Scandinavia: Implications for vanadium exploration

Leibo Bian, Niels H. Schovsbo, Anthony Chappaz, Xiaowei Zheng, Arne Thorshøj Nielsen, Thomas Ulrich, Xibo Wang, Shifeng Dai, Jennifer M. Galloway, Aleksandra Małachowska, Xuhui Xu, Hamed Sanei

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This paper investigates the hyper-enrichments of molybdenum (Mo), uranium (U), and vanadium (V) in the lower Paleozoic, Alum Shale of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Estonia. Molybdenum and U are mainly associated with organic matter and the highest contents are found in the Furongian part of the Alum Shale. This Furongian hyper-enrichment of Mo and U commenced with the Steptoean Positive Carbon Isotope Excursion (SPICE) event. The temporal distribution of V content increases moderately from the Miaolingian to the Furongian, followed by a significant increase in the Early Ordovician. In addition, the vanadium content generally increases towards the offshore, distal part of the Alum Shale basin. The geochemical affinity of V seems to change from organic matter in the Cambrian to minerals in the Early Ordovician. The hyper-enrichment of V in the Lower Ordovician succession appears to result from upwelling of deep oceanic water. The spatial distribution of V in the Alum Shale indicates that the highest concentrations are located in Scania, southernmost Sweden.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103730
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021


  • Alum Shale
  • Cambrian
  • Molybdenum (Mo)
  • Ordovician
  • Scandinavia
  • Uranium (U)
  • Vanadium (V)


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