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Exploration geochemistry—Distribution of elements and recognition of anomalies

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Abstract

The exploration geochemist faces a serious problem in reconciling theoretical statistics with the empirical distribution of elements in materials in the earth's crust. The results of computer-simulation experiments being conducted by the Exploration Geochemistry Group at the University of New Brunswick illustrate some of the problems of the relation between frequency distributions and spatial distributions of elements and raise some interesting questions about sampling patterns and physical size of samples. Most importantly, the simulation experiments and empirical examples support the contention that attempts to make an assumption of normality more efficient by performing log transformations on positively skewed data may defeat the purpose of statistical analysis for exploration work. New developments in computer-data presentation and interpretation, including population sorting and classification, illustrate the increasing use of the computer in exploration geochemistry.

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Special thanks are due to Professor T. Easely of the Forestry Department of the University of New Brunswick who, over the years, has taught all members of the Exploration Geochemistry Group how to enlist the aid of the computer in their geochemical problems.

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Govett, G.J.S., Goodfellow, W.D., Chapman, R.P. et al. Exploration geochemistry—Distribution of elements and recognition of anomalies. Mathematical Geology 7, 415–446 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02080498

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