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New regional surveys of soil geochemistry in Northern Ireland

By Mike Young


Tellus Project surveys advanced significantly in 2005. Sediment, water and soil samples have been collected from 9,100 rural sites and analysed for more than 55 elements and compounds, by XRF, ICP and fire assay. Trace element distributions broadly correlate with lithologies and reveal anomalies significant for mineral exploration and environmental monitoring. Several new anomalies in platinum group elements have been mapped and the characteristics of the gold mineralisation trend in Omagh are further defined. Anomalous gold concentrations also occur in the soils of South Armagh. High nickel and chromium values characterise the Antrim volcanics and elevated nickel occurs elsewhere in several locations, notably associated with some of the Fermanagh dykes. Environmental applications of the geochemical results include baseline mapping of trace-element concentrations in rural soils and detecting contamination of soils and streams. Urban areas are characterised by heavy metal concentrations, notably tin

Topics: Agriculture and Soil Science, Earth Sciences
Publisher: SNIFFER: Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research
Year: 2006
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