Abstract

Two hundred twenty-seven stream sediment samples from a sixty-five square mile area of native copper occurrences near South Mountain, Pennsylvania, were collected and analyzed spectrometrically for copper content as part of a regional prospecting program.To enhance the recognition of meaningful anomalies, i.e., those likely to reflect the geographical locations of ore bodies, a technique for selectively simulating the effects of certain interfering factors was developed and applied to the trace metal data.Quantitative models were constructed to estimate the expression of 1. cultural features, 2. known faults, 3. metabasaltic rocks, and 4. existing prospects and workings in the regional copper distribution. The simulated influences of these factors were then removed from the original data to increase the relevance of residual copper anomalies to prospective metal sources.It was observed that the cultural features model removed a number of the original anomalies from the copper geochemical landscape. It was also noted that the effects of metabasalt were more strongly reflected in the stream sediment copper concentrations than those of faults, although previous authors have proposed fault control as an explanation for the local native copper occurrences.The procedure, which is described in detail, provides an "a priori" method for dealing objectively with the effects of specified factors on regional trace metal patterns.By increasing the likelihood of association between the geochemical data and the potential locations of mineral deposits, its utility as a prospecting tool is improved.

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