Spectrographic determination of trace elements in lake waters is utilized as a reconnaissance prospecting method for a remote area containing about 20,000 square miles in northern Maine. This paper shows how the method was developed and presents the trace-element-distribution pattern as defined from the elemental concentrations found in lake waters.
Data for 12elements normally present in trace amounts in natural waters—manganese, lead, silver, zinc, copper, nickel, zirconium, vanadium, molybdenum, chromium, tin, and titanium—were evaluated by comparing the traces present from lake to lake. Determinations in weight per cent of element concentrations in evaporated-water residue furnished data which are believed to be essentially unaffected by rates of erosion and changes in amounts of rainfall and runoff. Values for each element, when plotted on a base map of Maine, suggest that lakes that have higher values may form groupings which represent localities that have greater possibilities for mineralization. These groupings constitute the spectrographic anomalies.
The significance of these anomalies has been established in several ways. Spectrographic values obtained for each element are believed to represent an integrated value of the surrounding terrain. Anomalies correlate with geologic features in several cases, and some are confirmed by known mineralization.