Principles of Geochemical Prospecting - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781483198774, 9781483223803

Principles of Geochemical Prospecting

1st Edition

Techniques of Prospecting for Non-Ferrous Ores and Rare Metals

Authors: I. I. Ginzburg
Editors: Earl Ingerson
eBook ISBN: 9781483223803
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1960
Page Count: 330
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International Series of Monographs on Earth Sciences, Volume 3: Principles of Geochemical Prospecting: Techniques of Prospecting for Non-Ferrous Ores and Rare Metals covers the developments of theoretical premises of geochemical prospecting based on existing theories of endogenic and exogenic ore-formation. This volume is divided into 13 chapters, and begins with a presentation of the problems originating in geochemical prospecting. The next chapters evaluate the relative importance of different prospecting methods. Considerable chapters are devoted to a generalized view of prospecting work in different geologic, pedologic, climatic, and orographic environments. The remaining chapters are concerned with the clarification and an explanation of certain regularities, which could serve as the basis of a rational orientation of geochemical prospecting. This book is an invaluable source for geochemical prospectors, geologists, and geophysicists.

Table of Contents



History of Geochemical Investigations in U.S.S.R.

Geochemical Investigations Abroad

"Schlich" and Geochemical Investigations

Development of Methods of Investigation: Physical, Physico-chemical, Chemical, Biochemical, and Others

Co-ordination with Geological Surveys and Comprehensive Studies

Successes of Geochemical Prospecting

Chapter I Methods of Analytical Investigations


Chemical Quantitative Drop and Powder Analysis

Colorimetric; Comparison of the Two Methods

The Phase Analysis


Analysis of Water and Other Methods

Selection of the Method for the Investigations

Chapter II Geochemical Tracers (Indicators)

Elements as Geochemical Indicators

Trace Elements in Crystal Structures as Indicators

Minerals as Geochemical Indicators

Choice of Indicators

Geochemical Correlations

Factors Determining Specificity of Geochemical Indication

Chapter III Accumulation of Metals in Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

Geochemical Principles of Accumulation of Dispersed Elements

Mobility of Elements

Permeability of Rocks and Accumulation of Metals

The Concept of Dispersion Halos

Relation of Boundaries of Mineralized Halos to Structures of Ore Deposits

Character of Distribution of Ore Minerals in Bedrocks; the Concept of the "Background"

Economic (Ore) Mineralization

Ore-Free Mineralization

Trace Elements in Crystal Structures of Minerals

Dispersed Mineralization

Syngenetic and Epigenetic Dispersion

Enriched and Ore Mineralization

Halo Mineralization. The Coefficients of Mineralization

The Shape of Mineralized Areas; their Size and Distribution.

Chapter IV Accumulation of Metals in Sedimentary Rock

Factors Determining Accumulation

Mechanisms of Transfers of Sediments

Environments of Sedimentation and of Transfer of Metalliferous Sediments

Stages in Development of Sedimentary Ores

Effects of Percolation of Solutions in Rocks on the Uranium-Content

The Metal-Content of Sedimentary Rocks

Stratification of Economic Accumulations of Metals in Sedimentary Rocks

Deposits of Sedimentary Origin

Metals in Coal Ash

Correlation of Individual Elements and the Forms in which they are Present

Chapter V Prospecting in Bedrocks

The Role of Supergene Processes in Modifications of Metal Concentrations in Bedrocks

Importance of Host Rocks of the Ore

Supergene Migration of Metals into Host Rocks

Environments Affecting the Extent of Development of the Mineralized Zones

Correlations in Zones of Supergenesis and in Bedrocks

Dispersion of Easily Mobile Elements and of their Compounds in Bedrocks

Geochemical Prospecting for Sedimentary Deposits

Chapter VI Prospecting for Deposits without Surface Outcrops

Discovery of Ore Bodies in Sedimentary Rocks under Surficial Sedimentary Mantle

Prospecting for Blind Ore Bodies in Bedrock

Structural Factors

Zoning in Ore Bodies and Stages of the Hydrothermal Process

Behavior of Metals in the Hanging Wall and in the Footwall of Ore Bodies and Dimension of Dispersion Fields

Importance of Erosional Surface in Prospecting for Blind Ore Bodies

Certain Indications of (Economic) Mineralization


Interpretation of Geochemical Survey

Some Conclusions

Chapter VII Accumulation of Metals in Unconsolidated Overburden (Dispersion Halos)

Dispersion Halos

Factors and Processes Affecting Formation of Dispersion Halos

Modern Weathering and Soil-Forming Processes

Behavior of Individual Elements in Soils:



Zinc and Cadmium;



Arsenic, Selenium, Tellurium;

Silver and Gold;

Nickel and Cobalt;

Barium and Strontium;



Accumulation of Elements as Dependent on the Variations in Soil-Climatic Environments

Metal-Content in Halos of Dispersion

Metals in "Superaqueous" Soils

Importance of the Composition of Soil Air

Ancient Weathering

Aspiration by the Root Systems

Mineralization of Plant Residues

Capillary Rise and Insolation

The Role of Capillary Rise in Arid Regions

Effects of Applications of Water

Problems in the Ascent of Water-Soluble Salts from Depths

Thermal Diffusion

Ionic Diffusion

Importance of Electric Currents

Waters Under Pressure

Processes of Oxidation

The Zones of Bleaching.

Mineral Composition of Oxidized Zones

Iron Gossans

Erosion of the Weathering Crust and of the Oxidized Zones

Processes of the Mechanical Transfers and the Streams of Dispersion

Mechanism of Formation of the Halos and of the Streams of Dispersion

Bottom Sediments

The Survey

False Halos

Prospecting in Alluvium and Eluvium

Coagulation, Precipitation, and Sorption

Genetic Types of Halos

Formation of Halos in Surficial Sediments

Evaluation and Interpretation of Halos.

Chapter VIII Prospecting at the Surface of the Overlying Mantle

Depth of Sampling

Particle-Size Classes to be Tested

Weight of Sample

The "Schlich" and the Spectrographic Analysis

Selection of Testing and Analytical Procedures

Extraneous Contamination

Prospecting for Lead; Zinc and Cadmium; Silver; Copper; Molybdenum; Tungsten; Tin; Gold; Nickel, Cobalt and Chromium; Fluorspar, Barium, Lithium

Certain practical suggestions

Chapter IX Migration of Metals in Waters

Hydrogenetic Elements

Solubility and Ionic Potentials

Forms of Metals in Waters

Metal-Content of Waters of Different Origins

Factors Affecting Metals in Waters. Importance of the Hydrogen-Ion Levels

Importance of the Extent of Oxidation of the Sulfides


Character of the Distribution of Sulfides in their Host Rocks

Climatic Environments

Effects of Leaching of Rocks by Waters

The Coefficients of Migration

Migration of Metals in Waters

Metals in Swamp Waters

Differences in the Extent of Dispersion of Individual Metals in Waters

Behavior of Individual Metals and of Certain Elements and Compounds in Waters:

























Barium and Strontium;

Sulfate and Chloride;



Aqueous Extracts

Determinations of pH.

Chapter X Hydro-Geochemical Prospecting for Metals and Characteristics of Different Water Types Associated with Ore Deposits

Determination of the Background

Prospecting in Flat and in Dissected Terrains

The Required Measurements

Inventory of Factors Responsible for Metal "Highs" in Waters, with the Example of Western Siberia

Characteristics of Waters of Copper Deposits

Waters of Pyritic Deposits

Waters of Polymetallic Deposits

Waters of the Rare-Metals Deposits

Importance of the Complete Analysis of Waters

Gas, Neutron-Count, and Radioactive Methods.

Chapter XI The Bio-geochemical Method of Prospecting

Theoretical Premises and Practical Applications of the Method

Metal-Content of Plant Ash

Assimilation of Different Metals by Plants

Prospecting for Iron-Rich Sulfides

Prospecting for Nickel, Cobalt, and Chromium; Copper; Zinc and Lead; Molybdenum, Uranium; Other Metals

The Practical Value of the Method.

Chapter XII The Geobotanical Method of Prospecting

Theoretical Premises

Types of Botanical Indications

Metallophilic Flora

Examples of Prospecting for Copper; Uranium and Selenium

The Vegetative Cover as the Indicator of Lithologic Composition of the Rocks, Hydrologic Conditions, and Tectonic Structures

The Aerobotanical methods

Chapter XIII General Conclusions in Reference to Geochemical Survey

Geochemical Mapping and Types of Geochemical Maps:

Topographic-Mineralogic Maps

Geochemical Maps in the Strict Sense

Geochemical Surveys of Bedrocks

Types of Geochemical Maps of Bedrocks

Geochemical Survey of Surficial Sediments:

Flat Terrains;

Elevated Weakly Dissected Terrains;

Elevated Strongly Dissected Terrains;

Terrains Under Forest and Swamps

Importance of Supplementary Methods: Hydrochemical, Biochemical, Botanical

Boring for Mapping Purposes

Types of Metallometric Surveys

Selection of the Method and the Interpretation of the Data of G geochemical Survey

Distortion of Boundary Outlines of Economic (Ore) Mineralization, as Represented by the Halos of Dispersion

Values of the "Rational" and of the Mineralogical Methods of Analysis

Application of Mineralogic-Geochemical Prospecting the Far North-east

Evaluation of Ore Reserves

General Conclusions


Rapid Methods of Determining Lead, Copper, Tungsten, Molybdenum and Silver in the Field


Translator's Notes on Soil Terms Used in this Book




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© Pergamon 1960
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About the Author

I. I. Ginzburg

About the Editor

Earl Ingerson

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