Principles of Geochemical Prospecting

Principles of Geochemical Prospecting

Techniques of Prospecting for Non-Ferrous Ores and Rare Metals

1st Edition - January 1, 1960

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  • Author: I. I. Ginzburg
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483223803

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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

  • Foreword


    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



Product details

  • No. of pages: 330
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 1960
  • Published: January 1, 1960
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483223803

About the Author

I. I. Ginzburg

About the Editor

Earl Ingerson

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