The <2-mm fraction of 605 samples of the C-horizon of podzols collected from an area of 188,000 km2 in the European Arctic was analyzed for Au and Pd by a method using reductive coprecipitation to enrich Au and platinum group elements (PGE) prior to analysis. Due to the low detection limits (0.1 ppb Au, 0.2 ppb Pd) only 2 percent of all samples returned values below the detection limit for Au, and 10 percent were below the detection limit for Pd. The resulting geochemical maps show clear regional distribution patterns, notwithstanding the very low sample density of 1 site per 300 km2. All known Au and PGE occurrences are associated with geochemical anomalies and several new targets for exploration were identified. Low-density geochemical mapping of Au and Pd with low detection limits in C-horizon soils can thus be used as a relatively inexpensive tool to define prospective areas within large regions.

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