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

Wang, Jian; Zuo, Renguang; Liu, Qinghai

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.

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Wang, Jian / Zuo, Renguang / Liu, Qinghai: Mapping geochemical anomalies by accounting for the uncertainty of mineralization-related elemental associations. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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