Stream sediment geochemical prospecting is historically acknowledged as a reliable tool to investigate the influence of geology and to assess the presence of natural and/or anthropogenic anomalies within river catchment basins at different scales. Several methods have been developed during decades to seek for geochemical anomalies especially those considered with a high potential for mineral resources. In the last decades, the Sample Catchment Basin (SCB) method, based on the use of dilution-corrected residuals (DCRs), has been developed, improved, and extensively used in mineral exploration, mostly at regional scale. In this paper the method was applied to a small catchment basin in southern Italy (Mingardo River) with the purposes of testing its reliability and improving the interpretation of geochemical patterns. The SCBs method was performed by using as input both unprocessed (raw) and centered log-ratio (clr) transformed data, and the obtained DCRs were classified through the concentration-area (C-A) method. After verifying the inadequacy of raw data, Principal component analysis (PCA) and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) on PCA loadings were used to address and improve the interpretation processes in a multivariate perspective. The method has proved to be effective in identifying anomalies associated with lithological layers that are often not reported on the medium scale and which, however, have the ability to condition the geochemical patterns of the basin to which they belong. The geochemical footprint of anthropic presence (road, villages, etc.) was also detected although its impact on the study area is limited.
Dominech S.;Aruta A.;Gramazio A.;Albanese S.
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