Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2894
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2894
10 Jan 2024
 | 10 Jan 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Mapping geochemical anomalies by accounting for the uncertainty of mineralization-related elemental associations

Jian Wang, Renguang Zuo, and Qinghai Liu

Abstract. Geochemical mapping is a fundamental tool for elucidating the distribution and behaviour of economically significant elements, and providing valuable insights for geological processes. Nevertheless, the quantification of uncertainty associated with geochemical mapping has recently become a subject of widespread concern. This study presents a procedure, primarily involving the determination of homogeneous clusters, the recognition of elemental associations for each cluster, and the identification of geochemical anomalies, with the aim to account for the uncertainty of elemental association in geochemical mapping. To illustrate and validate the procedure, a case study was conducted wherein stream sediment geochemical samples from the northwestern Sichuan Province, China were processed to map anomalies associated with disseminated gold mineralization. The results indicate: (1) the representativeness of elemental association for the underlying geological process is an important source of uncertainty for geochemical mapping, (2) the procedure presented here is effective to incorporate the uncertainty of elemental association in geochemical mapping, and (3) the study area can be classified into two clusters, each characterized by unique elemental associations that align well with the distribution of Paleozoic and Triassic lithological units, respectively. Furthermore, the region still holds great potential for the discovery of gold deposits, particularly in areas proximal to known mineralization sites.

Jian Wang, Renguang Zuo, and Qinghai Liu

Status: open (extended)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2894', Satyabrata Behera, 18 Feb 2024 reply
Jian Wang, Renguang Zuo, and Qinghai Liu
Jian Wang, Renguang Zuo, and Qinghai Liu

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Short summary
This study improves geochemical mapping, a technique to find valuable minerals and study geological processes, by accounting for regional differences in element associations. It clusters the study area based on element similarity and detects anomalies that may indicate gold deposits. It applies the method to a region in China and confirms its effectiveness and consistency with the geology. This study can enhance geochemical mapping for mineral exploration and geological research.