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The Forum of European Geological Surveys Geochemistry Task Group 1994-1996 inventory

Plant, J.A.; Klaver, G.; Locutura, J.; Salminen, R.; Vrana, K.; Fordyce, F.M.. 1997 The Forum of European Geological Surveys Geochemistry Task Group 1994-1996 inventory. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 59 (2). 123-146. 10.1016/S0375-6742(97)00008-3

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Abstract/Summary

The Forum of European Geological Surveys (FOREGS) includes representatives from 33 European countries and is responsible for co-ordinating Geological Survey activities in Europe. The FOREGS Geochemistry Task Group was established in 1994 to develop a strategy for the preparation of European geochemical maps following the recommendations of the International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP) Project 259 ‘International Geochemical Mapping’ (now the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) /International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry (IAGC) Working Group on Global Geochemical Baselines). The FOREGS geochemistry programme is aimed at preparing a standardised European geochemical baseline to IGCP-259 standards. The principal aims of this dataset will be for environmental purposes, as a baseline for the assessment of the extent and distribution of contaminated land in the context of variations in the natural geochemical background, but it will also have applications in resource assessment and for the development of policy for the sustainable management of metalliferous mineral and other resources. The first phase of the programme was the compilation of an inventory of geochemical data based on the results of a questionnaire completed by Geological Surveys and related organisations throughout the FOREGS community. The results show that the sample types which have been used most extensively are stream sediment (26% coverage), surface water (19% coverage) and soil (11% coverage). Stream sediments have been collected using a narrow range of mesh sizes (< 150–< 200 μm), but soil samples have been collected according to two different conventions: some surveys used a similar mesh size range to that used for stream sediments while others employed the < 1000 or < 2000 μm fractions traditionally used by soil surveys. Sample densities range from 1 sample per 0.5 km2 to 1 per 3500 km2. Various analytical methods have been used, but most of the available data have been calibrated using international reference materials, and data for the most important of the potentially harmful elements (PHEs) are available for most datasets. Systematic radiometric data are available for only a small proportion of Europe, a situation which compares very unfavourably with that in Australia, North America, the former Soviet Union and many developing countries. Recommendations are made for increasing the compatibility of geochemical methods between national geochemical surveys as a basis for the preparation of a series of European geochemical maps. The next stage of the FOREGS Geochemistry Task Group will be the collection of the Global Reference Network of samples against which to standardise national datasets according to the methods recommended in the final report of the IGCP 259 programme.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S0375-6742(97)00008-3
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Chemical and Biological Hazards
ISSN: 0375-6742
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 06 Aug 2012 10:11
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/19016

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