Analysis of geochemical data for mineral exploration using a GIS—A case study from the Swayze greenstone belt, northern Ontario, Canada
Published:January 01, 2001
J. R. Harris, L. Wilkinson, M. Bernier, 2001. "Analysis of geochemical data for mineral exploration using a GIS—A case study from the Swayze greenstone belt, northern Ontario, Canada", Drift Exploration in Glaciated Terrain, M. B. McClenaghan, P. T. Bobrowsky, G. E. M. Hall, S. J. Cook
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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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Drift Exploration in Glaciated Terrain
This volume describes the use of till geochemical and indicator mineral methods for mineral exploration in glaciated terrain of Canada. The principles and examples described in this volume wil have direct applications for exploration companies and prospectors exploring for diamonds, precious and base metals and uranium in glaciated parts of North America, northern Europe and Asia and mountainous regions of South America.
The first two papers in this volume provide an introduction to glaciated terrain and the two styles of glaciation that have affected the world, continental glaciers in broad flat lying Shield areas and alpine glaciers in mountainous terrain. Sampling techniques are described next, followed by an introduction to the use of heavy minerals. Heavy mineral methodss have become an important exploration tool in glaciated terrain for gold and base metals and, in the last ten years, for diamonds. Lake sediments and biogeochemical methods are also included in this volume as a complement to geochemical and indicator mineral methods in glaciated terrain. A chapter on GIS has been included because data interpretation and display are important and essential parts of any regional or detailed geochemical survey. The remainder of the volume is case studies for the three main glaciated terrain tyes in Canada: Shield, Appalachia and Cordillera