Botanical methods of prospecting involve the use of vegetation in searching for ore deposits. Although these methods have been used for several centuries, there is much confusion about terminology because there are two distinct methods of botanical prospecting. Geobotanical methods (see Geobotanical Prospecting) are visual and rely mainly on interpretation of the vegetative cover to detect mineralization. Biogeochemical methods are entirely different in scope and involve chemical analysis of the vegetation. This entry considers this latter method.
Biogeochemical methods were first used just before World War II when Tkalich (1938) found that vegetation could be used to delineate a Siberian iron ore body. Since then, much biogeochemical work has bee carried out in the USSR (Kovalevsky, 1987; Malyuga, 1964), Canada (Warren and Delavault, 1950), the United States (Cannon and Starrett, 1956, and Australasia (Cole et al. 1968; Brooks, 1983).
The Biogeochemical Cycle
Analysis of the...
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