Carnotite is a potassium uranium vanadate mineral with chemical formula: K2(UO2)2(VO4)2·3H2O. The water content can vary and small amounts of calcium, barium, magnesium, iron, and sodium are often present.
Carnotite is a bright to greenish yellow mineral that occurs typically as crusts and flakes in sandstones. Amounts as low as one percent will color the sandstone a bright yellow. The high uranium content makes carnotite an important uranium ore and also radioactive. It is a secondary vanadium and uranium mineral usually found in sedimentary rocks in arid climates. It is an important ore of uranium in the Colorado Plateau region of the United States where it occurs as disseminations in sandstone and concentrations around petrified logs. Occurs in the states of Wyoming; Colorado; Arizona; Utah; It also occurs incidentally in Grants, New Mexico and Carbon County, Pennsylvania. It is also reported in Zaire; Morocco; Radium Hill, Australia; and Kazakhstan.
It is named for Marie Adolphe Carnot (1839 - 1920), French mining engineer and chemist.
Several related mineral varieties exist, including: margaritasite ((Cs,K,H3O)2(UO2)(VO4)2·H2O) and tyuyamunite, (Ca(UO2)2(VO4)2·5-8H2O).