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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the amount of gold present in natural waters. One hundred and thirty-two natural water samples were collected from various sources and analyzed for gold by the latest techniques. Background values for gold in natural waters range from <0.001 to 0.005 ppb, and anomalous values range from 0.010 to 2.8 ppb. Waters collected from mineralized areas have a mean gold value of 0.101 ppb, whereas waters collected from unmineralized areas have a mean of 0.002 ppb. Some of the high gold values reported in the earlier literature were probably due to interferences by high salt content in the sample and/or lack of proper filter procedures. ?? 1988.
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Native gold is a mineral composed of Au, Ag and Cu in solid solution and it usually contains one or more trace metals as lattice impurities, as mineral inclusions, in grain boundaries or in surface coatings. Alloy proportions of Au, Ag and Cu, together with certain other elements, can be thought of as constituting a gold "signature". Gold is associated with a great variety of ore deposits and has characteristic signatures for each of several types of ore deposits. Signatures for gold derived from igneous-metamorphic, hypothermal, mesothermal and epithermal deposits reflect conditions of ore formation by their content of Ag, Cu and characteristic associated elements. At higher temperatures of ore formation, gold...
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Recent advances in instrumentation now permit quantitative analysis of gas species from individual fluid inclusions. Fluid inclusion gas data can be applied to minerals exploration empirically to establish chemical (gas composition) signatures of the ore fluids, and conceptually through the development of genetic models of ore formation from a framework of integrated geologic, geochemical, and isotopic investigations. Case studies of fluid inclusion gas chemistry from ore deposits representing a spectrum of ore-forming processes and environments are presented to illustrate both the empirical and conceptual approaches. We consider epithermal silver-gold deposits of Creede, Colorado, Carlin-type sediment-hosted disseminated...
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Majuba Hill is the erosional remnant of a mineralized volcanic complex of rhyolite porphyry stocks, dikes, sills and irregular masses of breccia intruded into Triassic(? ) argillites. Majuba Hill is best known for its Cu and Sn ore; in addition, it was mineralized with other metals of possible economic significance, most notably, Mo, Ag, and U. Although this is an intrusive complex with no evidence of any extrusive phases, it was intruded sufficiently near the surface to develop a porphyritic texture. Intense sericitic and argillic alteration affected all stages of intrusion. Fresh rocks were not available for K-Ar analyses. Several samples of feldspars and sericite from altered zones yielded K-Ar ages for the alteration...
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This geochemical survey is based on 20 stations located on the outer continental shelf of the southern Bering Sea in an area of 30,000 km2 that includes St. George basin. Hydrocarbon gases from sediment samples recovered by gravity coring at each of the stations were analyzed by gas chromatography. Data are summarized for a subbottom depth of 0.5 m, because core penetration, although variable, reached at least this depth at all of these stations. Two parameters were used to distinguish the possible presence of thermogenic hydrocarbons: (1) ratios less than 50 of methane to ethane plus propane; and (2) ratios greater than 1 of ethane to ethene. No major hydrocarbon anomalies were discovered; however, at two stations...
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The U.S. Geological Survey has conducted geochemical studies in the Indian Pass (CDCA-355), 124 km2, and Picacho Peak (CDCA-355A), 23 km2, Wilderness Study Areas (WSA's) as part of a program to evaluate the mineral resource potential of designated areas in the California Desert Conservation Area. These two WSA's are of particular interest because they lie within a region which has intermittently produced significant quantities of Au since the mid-1800's, and is currently the site of much exploration activity for additional Au resources. Within a 15-km radius of the WSA's, there is one actively producing gold mine, a major deposit which began production in 1986, and one recently announced discovery. In the reconnaissance...
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Mercury poses a water-quality problem for California's Sacramento River, a large river with a mean annual discharge of over 650 m3/s. This river discharges into the San Francisco Bay, and numerous fish species of the bay and river contain mercury levels high enough to affect human health if consumed. Two possible sources of mercury are the mercury mines in the Coast Ranges and the gold mines in the Sierra Nevada. Mercury was once mined in the Coast Ranges, west of the Sacramento River, and used to process gold in the Sierra Nevada, east of the river. The mineralogy of the Coast Ranges mercury deposits is mainly cinnabar (HgS), but elemental mercury was used to process gold in the Sierra Nevada. Residual mercury...
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The efficacy of sagebrush (Artemisia) as a biogeochemical indicator of base-metal mineralization in stratabound Precambrian ore deposits in west-central Colorado was investigated by collecting new (mostly flowering) growth from several sagebrush shrubs over and near five such deposits in three different areas. These are the Sedalia mine and two mines in the Turret district near Salida, and two mines in the Cochetopa district southeast of Gunnison. Two species were used, A. tridentata and A. frigida, depending on the area. Sagebrush clippings were separated into two subsamples consisting of (1) stems, and (2) leaves and blossoms stripped from the stems. These subsamples were ashed separately and the ash analyzed...
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Concentrations of twenty-seven elements, including naturally-occurring water-quality contaminants arsenic, chromium, and uranium, were measured in 217 samples of alluvium and rock from the western Mojave Desert, southern California, using portable (pXRF) and laboratory (LXRF) X-ray fluorescence. Comparison of measurements with NIST-traceable standards was good, although pXRF overestimated iron compared to LXRF. Results suggest pXRF survey data are sufficiently accurate to assess regional geochemical differences in geologic-source terrains. Principal component analysis showed rubidium and potassium were associated with alluvium eroded from felsic terrain, while iron, copper, chromium, and to a lesser extent titanium,...
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Rare earth element (REE) resources are currently of great interest because of their importance as raw materials for high-technology manufacturing. The REE-phosphates monazite (light REE enriched) and xenotime (heavy REE enriched) resist weathering and can accumulate in placer deposits as part of the heavy mineral assemblage. The Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains of the southeastern United States are known to host heavy mineral deposits with economic concentrations of zircon, ilmenite and rutile. This study provides a perspective on the distribution and composition of REE phosphate minerals in the region. The elemental chemistry and mineralogy of sands and associated heavy-mineral assemblages from new and archived...
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Big sagebrush - a cold-desert species that dominates the terrain over large parts of western United States - was sampled along several traverses that crossed thermally metamorphosed limestone, phyllitic shale, and schist of the Middle and Upper Cambrian Preble Formation that host skarn-, disseminated gold and silver-, and hot springs gold-type mineral occurrences. Patterns of detectable levels of gold (8 to 28 ppb or ng g-1) in ash of new growth were consistent with areas affected by known or suspected gold mineralization. Soils collected along one of the traverses where a selenium-indicator plant was common contained no gold above background levels of 2ppb, but were consistently high in As, Sb, and Zn, and several...
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Douglas fir trees and associated soils were sampled from the slopes of a small (??? 4 km2) drainage basin in northeastern Washington to investigate the biogeochemical response to locally uraniferous groundwater. Uranium is preferentially incorporated in needles and twigs compared to larger branches or the trunk. The U concentration in needle ash ranges from 0.2 to 5.8 ??g g-1 (ppm) and shows no correlation with the U concentration in associated soils. Rather, the distribution of anomalously uraniferous douglas fir (>1.0??g g-1 U in needle ash) appears to be controlled by observed or readily inferred pathways of near-surface groundwater movement in the drainage. These pathways include: (1) general downslope movement...
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Concretionary Mn-Fe oxides in streams form at interfaces between oxidizing and reducing environments. A reducing environment produces waters high in dissolved Mn and Fe, and an oxidizing environment causes precipitation. Mineralogical, microprobe, and optical studies of concretionary Mn-Fe oxides may further our understanding of the role of Mn-Fe oxides in determining the trace-element geochemistry of stream sediments. ?? 1982.
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Trace metals that are commonly associated with mineralization were concentrated and separated from natural water by coprecipitation with ammonium pyrollidine dithiocarbamate (APDC) and cobalt and determined by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). The method is useful in hydrogeochemical surveys because it permits preconcentration near the sample sites, and selected metals are preserved shortly after the samples are collected. The procedure is relatively simple: (1) a liter of water is filtered; (2) the pH is adjusted; (3) Co chloride and APDC are added to coprecipitate the trace metals; and (4) later, the precipitate is filtered, dissolved, and diluted to 10 ml for a 100-fold concentration...
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A hot hydroxylamine hydrochloride (H-Hxl) extraction in 25% acetic acid is compared with the commonly used oxalic acid extraction as a method of anomaly enhancement for Cu and Zn in samples from two very different metal deposits and climatic environments. Results obtained on minus-80-mesh stream sediments from an area near the Magruder massive sulfide deposit in Lincoln County, Georgia, where the climate is humid subtropical, indicate that H-Hxl enhances the anomaly for Cu by a factor of 2 and for Zn by a factor of 1.5, compared to the oxalic method. Analyses of Fe oxide-coated rock samples from outcrops overlying the North Silver Bell porphyry copper deposit near Tucson, Arizona, where the climate is semi-arid...
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Soil samples were collected at 420 locations in a 5-km grid pattern in the Istria and Gorski Kotar areas of Croatia, and on the Croatian islands of Cres, Rab and Krk, in order to relate geochemical variation in the soils to underlying differences in geology, bedrock lithology, soil type, environment and natural versus anthropogenic influences. Specific objectives included assessment of possible agricultural and industrial sources of contamination, especially from airborne effluent emitted by a local power plant. The study also tested the adequacy of a fixed-depth soil sampling procedure developed for meager karstic soils. Although 40 geochemical variables were analyzed, only 15 elements and 5 radionuclides are common...
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Manganese oxide coatings on gravels from 255 sites on tributary streams in the Genesee River Watershed were analyzed for Mn, Fe, Zn, Cd, Co, Ni, Pb, and Cu. The results were compared with data on bedrock geology, surficial geology and land use, using factor analysis and stepwise multiple regression. All metals except Pb show strong positive correlation with Mn. This association results from the well-known tendency of Mn oxide precipitates to adsorb and incorporate dissolved trace metals. Pb may be present in a separate phase on the gravel surfaces; alternatively Pb abundance may be so strongly influenced by environmental factors that the effect of varying abundance of the carrier phase becomes relatively unimportant....
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Radioactive mineral springs and wells at 33 localities in the States of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico in the United States were sampled and studied to obtain geochemical data which might be used for U exploration. The major source of radioactivity at mineral spring sites is 226Ra. Minor amounts of 228Ra, 238U and 232Th are also present. Ra is presumed to have been selectively removed from possibly quite deep uranium-mineralized rock by hydrothermal solutions and is either precipitated at the surface or added to fresh surface water. In this way, the source rocks influence the geochemistry of the spring waters and precipitates. Characteristics of the spring waters at or near the surface are also affected...
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The Dee mine is a sediment-hosted, disseminated gold deposit in the Roberts Mountains allochthon of north central Nevada. Soil samples were collected from the C-horizon in undisturbed areas over the deposit in order to investigate the usefulness of soil geochemistry in identifying this type of deposit. Each sample was sieved to minus 80 mesh and analyzed quantitatively for Au, Ag, As, Sb, Hg, Tl and semi-quantitative data for an additional 31 elements. Rank sum analysis is successful for the Au, Ag, As, Sb, Hg, Tl suite, even though bedrock geology is disregarded. This method involves data transformation into a total element signature by ranking the data in ascending order and summing the element ranks for each...
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Massive and stockwork Fe-Cu-Zn (Cyprus type) sulphide deposits in the upper parts of ophiolite complexes represent hydrothermal mineralization at ancient accretionary plate boundaries. These deposits are probable metallogenic analogues of the polymetallic sulphide deposits recently discovered along modern oceanic spreading centres. Genetic models for these deposits suggest that mineralization results from large-scale circulation of sea-water through basaltic basement along the tectonically active axis of spreading, a zone of high heat flow. The high geothermal gradient above 1 to 2 km deep magma chambers emplaced below the ridge axis drives the convective circulation cell. Cold oxidizing sea-water penetrating the...