Abstract

Methods of prospecting for mineral deposits by means of chemical studies of residual soil, alluvium, glacial moraine, vegetation, and natural water were first applied on a systematic scale in Scandinavia and Russia about 15 years ago. Since the war, work in this field has been undertaken by several independent groups in the United States and Canada, including the Geochemical Prospecting Unit of the U. S. Geological Survey.Best results have been obtained by systematic analysis of zinc in residuum, ground water, and vegetation; copper and lead in gossan and residuum; tin in residuum and alluvium; molybdenum in residuum; and cobalt, nickel, and gold in vegetation. In addition, studies of plant ecologies and toxicity symptoms in vegetation in relation to metal-rich soil appear to be promising.Rapid colorimetric and spectrographic tests for traces of metals in soil, water, and vegetation have been developed for use under field conditions.

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