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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide the geologist with a powerful tool, when used in concert with statistical and geostatistical analysis, for archiving, manipulating, analysing and visualizing geochemical data. This paper uses geochemical (Zn, Cu) data obtained from various media (rock, lake sediments, till, soil and humus) over the Swayze greenstone belt in northern Ontario, to explore methods for analysing and visualizing geochemical data with a focus to mineral exploration applications.

The behaviour of Zn and Cu in both bedrock and the surficial environment is studied using statistical and geostatistical techniques. Interpretation and uses of traditional statistics and dot plots are contrasted with interpolated geochemical maps as well as red-green-blue (RGB) ternary maps. Techniques for multimedia comparison and geochemical anomaly detection and screening are presented. The processing methods presented in this paper can be utilized and adapted by other geologists for exploring their own geochemical data. Many of the algorithms presented here are available within standard GIS software packages, or can be written easily using a GIS macro language.

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