Three basic studies, using spectrographic methods, have been used to establish the occurrence of minor elements in natural waters. One study, of oceanborne chemicals in principal rivers, has established a method for the quantitative analysis of many minor elements. Strontium, barium, lithium, rubidium, chromium, nickel, copper, lead, boron, titanium, molybdenum, manganese, and vanadium occur most frequently in measurable quantities.
Reconnaissance of the strontium in surface waters of the United States, shows that surface waters in parts of northern and western Texas and southern New Mexico and Arizona are comparatively high in strontium. A study of minor elements in selected waters of California is continuing. Assessment of preliminary data on uranium and radium in waters is facilitated by grouping data for 10 geotectonic regions of the United States.