Antarctic Record (Mar 1983)

Basic analytical data for geochemical exploration in Antarctica

  • Takashi Nishiyama

Journal volume & issue
no. 78
pp. 15 – 24


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The distribution of minor elements (Mn, Zn, Pb, Cu, Ni, Co, Cd) in glacial deposits from the Dry Valley area, Southern Victoria Land, has been investigated with atomic absorption spectroscopy to conduct geochemical exploration in Antarctica. The specimens were taken from various representative parts from the drill holes 12 (Taylor Valley) and 13 (Wright Valley). Highly anomalous zinc content (0.39% Zn) is evident in one specimen of muddy silt (sample No. 115). Lead shows low values in the particular horizons and generally higher level in sediments from the Taylor Valley than from the Wright Valley. Compared with the distribution of minor elements in sedimentary rocks around Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture, which contained sandstone, shale, chert, limestone, schalstein, and recent deposits, it is observed that average values of the minor elements in both regions are similar, but the magnitude of their variations in the Dry Valley area except zinc in sample No. 115 and lead, is smaller than that around Lake Biwa. These effects suggest that geochemical dispersion patterns in Antarctica have been influenced greatly by mechanical movement and less by chemical movement.