A global geochemical database for environmental and resource management

Recommendations for International Geochemical Mapping
Final Report of IGCP Project 259

by
A.G.Darnley (Canada), A.Björklund(Finland), B.Bølviken (Norway), N.Gustavsson (Finland), P.V.Koval (Russia), J.A.Plant (UK), A.Steenfelt (Greenland), M.Tauchid (IAEA) and Xie Xuejing (China),
with contributions by R.G.Garrett and G.E.M.Hall (Canada)organization

Published in 1995 by
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France

Printed by
Love Printing Service Ltd., Ottawa
ISBN 92-3-103085-X



Contents
List of colour plates viii
List of tables viii
List of figures ix
Frontispiece x
1 Executive summary 1-5
1.1 General 1
1.2 Summary of principal recommendations 1
1.2.1 A global reference network 2
1.2.2 Field methods for regional surveys 2
1.2.3 Geoanalytical requirements 3
1.2.4 Radioelement mapping 3
1.2.5 Data management 4
1.2.6 Implementation 5
Colour plates 6-14
2 General introduction 15-27
2.1 Geochemistry and sustainable development 15
2.2 The current status of geochemical mapping 18
2.3 The deficiencies of existing multielement datasets 20
2.4 Origin of the project 24
2.5 Organization of the project and authorship of the report 25
2.6 Future progress 27
2.7 Acknowledgements 27
3 Sampling and global mapping: a review 28-36
3.1 Introduction 28
3.2 Sample media 29
3.3 Sample spacing 33
3.4 A standardized global reference network 34
3.5 Reliability of the sampling process 35
4 A global geochemical reference network 37-45
4.1 Introduction 37
4.2 Sample media for a global network 38
4.3 Sampling logistics 39
4.4 Site location and the number of sites sampled 41
4.5 Sampling details 41
4.5.1 Regolith sampling 41
4.5.2 Drainage system sampling 42
4.5.3 Sample quantities, preparation and storage 42
4.5.4 Other important considerations 43
4.6 Production of a world map, based on GRN data 43
4.7 Summary of recommendations 44
5 Field methods for regional surveys 46-53
5.1 Introduction 46
5.2 sample media for regional surveys 47
5.3 Sample media in different physiographic terrains 49
5.3.1 Glacial, subpolar, permafrost regions 49
5.3.2 Temperate regions 50
5.3.3 Desert regions 50
5.3.4 Equatorial regions 51
5.4 Planning and execution of regional sample collection 51
5.4.1 Sample size 51
5.4.2 Sample spacing 51
5.4.3 Sample-site selection 52
5.4.4 Collection of samples 52
5.4.5 Field observations and measurements at the sampling site 52
5.4.6 Sample documentation and sample site documentation 52
5.4.7 Sample preparation and storage 52
5.5 Summary of recommendations 53
6 Geoanalytical requirements 54-64
6.1 Introduction 54
6.2 Review of geoanalytical methods 55
6.2.1 Introduction 55
6.2.2 Decomposition techniques 55
6.2.3 Analytical techniques 56
6.2.4 Waters and vegetation 57
6.2.5 General comment - need for independent quality control 58
6.3 Analytical requirements for international geochemical mapping 58
6.3.1 General 58
6.3.2 Geochemical reference network - analytical requirements 60
6.3.3 Use of standard reference materials 61
6.3.4 Proposed arrangements for reference sample analysis 61
6.3.5 National and international geoanalytical requirements 62
6.4 Summary of recommendations 63
7 Radioelement mapping 65-70
7.1 Introduction 65
7.1.1 General 65
7.1.2 Relationship between airborne and ground surveys 66
7.1.3 Ground gamma ray spectrometry 66
7.2 Airborne gamma ray spectrometry (AGRS) 66
7.2.1 General 66
7.2.2 Quality considerations in AGRS 67
7.2.3 Flight line spacing 67
7.2.4 Products from AGRS mapping 67
7.2.5 Other permanent records 68
7.3 Fall-out monitoring using AGRS 68
7.3.1 Principles of fall-out monitoring 68
7.3.2 Fall-out nuclides 69
7.4 Recommendations for global mapping 69
7.4.1 General statement 69
7.4.2 Use of existing data 70
7.4.3 Collection of new data 70
7.5 Concluding comment 70
8 Data management 71-82
8.1 Introduction 71
8.2 Databases 71
8.3 National and survey databases 72
8.3.1 Quality assurance 73
8.3.2 Sampling preparation and analysis 73
8.3.3 Databases 74
8.4 Levelling and normalization of existing data sets 75
8.4.1 Introduction 75
8.4.2 Parametric levelling 75
8.4.3 Non-parametric normalization 76
8.4.4 Use of airborne gamma ray spectrometry for levelling 78
8.5 Map projections 80
8.6 Map preparation 80
8.7 Geographical information systems (GIS) and image processing 80
8.7.1 Representation of geochemical data 81
8.7.2 Geographical information system (GIS) 81
8.7.3 Examples of GIS with geochemical data 81
8.7.4 Image analysis system (IAS) 81
8.7.5 Discussion of the benefits of GIS and IAS use 82
8.8 Summary of recommendations 82
9 Data applications 83-85
9.1 Introduction 83
9.2 Examples of specific applications 84
9.3 Summary 84
10 Implementation 86-89
10.1 Introduction 86
10.2 Organizational requirements 87
10.2.1 Project coordination, long-term continuity and sponsorship 87
10.2.2 World geochemical data centre 87
10.2.3 Regional coordination centres 88
10.2.4 Technical assistance for developing countries 88
10.3 Scientific and technical considerations 88
10.3.1 Provision of standard reference materials 88
10.3.2 Access to data and samples 88
10.3.3 Introduction of new techniques 89
10.4 Cost factors in geochemical surveys 89
10.5 Total project cost 89
11 Bibliography 90-99
11.1 References 90
11.2 Additional general references 97
12 Appendices - supplementary information 100-121
12.1 Introduction 100
12.2 Supplement to Chapter 2: Acknowledgements - supporting organizations 100
12.3 Supplement to Chapter 3: Excerpts from research relating to the project 101
12.4 Supplement to Chapter 4: Global sample collection 103
12.5 Supplement to Chapter 5: Drainage and soil sampling procedures for temperate; humid tropical; seasonally humid tropical regions 104
12.6 Supplement to Chapter 6: Geoanalytical methods 107
12.7 Supplement to Chapter 7: Additional information on airborne gamma radiation data collection and data reduction 112
12.8 Supplement to Chapter 8: Data management 115
12.10 Supplement to Chapter 10: Implementation 118
Key word index 122


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