Statistical analysis of soil geochemical data to identify pathfinders associated with mineral deposits: An example from the Coles Hill uranium deposit, Virginia, USA

Journal of Geochemical Exploration
By: , and 

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Abstract

Soil geochemical anomalies can be used to identify pathfinders in exploration for ore deposits. In this study, compositional data analysis is used with multivariate statistical methods to analyse soil geochemical data collected from the Coles Hill uranium deposit, Virginia, USA, to identify pathfinders associated with this deposit. Elemental compositions and relationships were compared between the collected Coles Hill soil and reference soil samples extracted from a regional subset of a national-scale geochemical survey. Results show that pathfinders for the Coles Hill deposit include light rare earth elements (La and Ce), which, when normalised by their Al content, are correlated with U/Al, and elevated Th/Al values, which are not correlated with U/Al, supporting decoupling of U from Th during soil generation. These results can be used in genetic and weathering models of the Coles Hill deposit, and can also be applied to future prospecting for similar U deposits in the eastern United States, and in regions with similar geological/climatic conditions.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Statistical analysis of soil geochemical data to identify pathfinders associated with mineral deposits: An example from the Coles Hill uranium deposit, Virginia, USA
Series title Journal of Geochemical Exploration
DOI 10.1016/j.gexplo.2014.12.012
Volume 154
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 238
Last page 251
Country United States
State Virginia
Other Geospatial Coles Hill