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Biogeochemistry in Mineral Exploration
1st Edition, Volume 9 - July 11, 2007
Author: Colin E. Dunn
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Significant refinements of biogeochemical methods applied to mineral exploration have been made during more than twenty years since the last major publication on this technique. … Read more
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Significant refinements of biogeochemical methods applied to mineral exploration have been made during more than twenty years since the last major publication on this technique. This innovative, practical and comprehensive text is designed as a field handbook and an office reference volume. It outlines the historical development of biogeochemical methods applied to mineral exploration, and provides details of what, how, why and when to collect samples from all major climatic environments with examples from around the world. Recent commercialization of sophisticated analytical technology permits immensely more insight into the multi-element composition of plants. In particular, precise determination of ultra-trace levels of ‘pathfinder’ elements in dry tissues and recognition of element distribution patterns with respect to concealed mineralization. Data handling and interpretation are discussed in context of a wealth of previously unpublished information, including a section on plant mineralogy, much of which has been classified as confidential until recently. Data are provided on the biogeochemistry of more than 60 elements and, by case history examples, their roles discussed in assisting in the discovery of concealed mineral deposits. A look to the future includes the potential role of bacteria to provide new focus for mineral exploration. Analyses of samples from the controlled environment of Britain’s Eden Project are presented on an accompanying CD as part of a database that includes, also, the potential role of the halogens to assist in mineral exploration. Data on this CD provide a ‘hands-on’ approach for the reader to interrogate and personally assess real datasets from the burgeoning discipline of biogeochemical exploration.
* Describes the practical aspects of plant selection and collection in different environments around the world, and how to process and analyze them* Discusses more than 60 elements in plants, with data interpretation and case history results that include exploration for Au, PGEs, U, base metals and kimberlites* Contains databases as digital files on an accompanying CD for "hands-on" experimentation with real biogeochemical data
Researchers and graduate students in geochemistry, Earth surface processes and geology
Preface.1. Introduction.1.1 Setting the Scene1.2 Biogeochemistry and Geobotany1.3 Plant Evolution and Chemistry1.4 Barrier Mechanisms2. Plant Function, Chemistry and Mineralogy2.1 Plant Requirements2.2 Element uptake and function2.3 Root form, and controls on element uptake2.4 Summary Comments on Chemical Requirements of Plants2.5 The Mineralogy of Plants3. Field Guide 1: Climatic and Geographic Zones.3.1 Selection of Plant Species3.2 Summary Notes4. Field Guide 2: Sample Selection and Collection4.1 General Considerations4.2 Selection of Tissue Type4.3 Sample Collection4.4 Alternative Samples4.5 Geozoology5. Survey Design and Comparisons with Other Sample Media5.1 Introduction5.2 Survey Design5.3 Scale of Survey 5.4 Comparisons with Other Types of Geochemical Survey5.5 Summary6. Sample Preparation and Decomposition6.1 Introduction6.2 Washing 6.3 Particle and Sample Size6.4 Sample Decomposition6.5 Dry Ashing6.6 A Special Case: Vegetation from Sites near Smelters or Other Sites of Point Source Metal Emissions6.7 Wet Decomposition6.8 Microwave Digestion6.9 Selective Leaching6.10 Fusions6.11 Standard Reference Materials and Analytical Controls6.12 Summary7. Plant Analysis7.1 ‘Fit for Purpose’7.2 Analytical Techniques7.3 Analytical Instrumentation7.4 Summary8. The Eden Project – Source of a Biogeochemical Database8.1 Introduction8.2 Samples in the Collection8.3 Soil in the Biomes8.4 Foliage Collection from the Biomes9. Biogeochemical Behaviour Of The Elements9.1 Introduction9.2 The Importance of Data Quality9.3 Elements in Plants and Their Relevance to Mineral Exploration10. Data Handling and Analysis10.1 First Estimation of the Data10.2 Computer Software Tools10.3 Data Analysis10.4 Map Plots of Data Distributions10.5 Unusual Concentrations of Selected Elements11. Case Histories11.1 Gold11.2 Platinum Group Metals/Nickel/Copper11.3 Nickel11.4 Uranium11.5 Kimberlites12. Exploration Geomicrobiology – The New Frontier12.1 Introduction 12.2 Significance of micro-organisms as biogeochemical agents12.3 Methods for identifying micro-organisms and microbial processes12.4 Molecular procedures12.5 Case studies12.6 Future technologies for bio-prospecting12.7 Conclusions13. A Look to the Future13.1 Introduction13.2 Hyperspectral Imagery in Relation to Biogeochemistry13.3 Exploration Geomicrobiology13.4 Forensic Biogeochemistry13.5 Plant Mineralogy13.6 Chemical analysis13.7 Concluding RemarksReferences
No. of pages: 480
Published: July 11, 2007
Imprint: Elsevier Science
eBook ISBN: 9780080546490
Colin E. Dunn
Affiliations and expertise
Consulting Geochemist, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada