Geobotanical prospecting

Geobotanical prospecting refers to prospecting based on indicator plants like metallophytes and the analysis of vegetation. For example, the Viscaria Mine in Sweden was named after the plant Silene suecica (syn. Viscaria alpina) that was used by prospecters to discover the ore deposits.[1]

A "most faithful" indicator plant is Ocimum centraliafricanum, the "copper plant" or "copper flower" formerly known as Becium homblei, found only on copper (and nickel) containing soils in central to southern Africa.[2]

In 2015, Stephen E. Haggerty identified Pandanus candelabrum as a botanical indicator for kimberlite pipes, a source of mined diamonds.[3]

The technique has been used in China since in the 5th century BC. People in the region noticed a connection between vegetation and the minerals located underground. There were particular plants that throve on and indicated areas rich in copper, nickel, zinc, and allegedly gold though the latter has not been confirmed. The connection arose out of an agricultural interest concerning soil compositions. While the process had been known to the Chinese region since antiquity, it was not written about and studied in the west until the 18th century in Italy.[4]

References

Citations

  1. ^ "Viscaria Mine, Kiruna, Lappland, Sweden". MinDat.org. Hudson Institute of Mineralogy. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  2. ^ Brooks, Robert R. (1992). Noble Metals and Biological Systems: Their Role in Medicine, Mineral Exploration, and the Environment. CRC Press. p. 181. ISBN 9780849361647.
  3. ^ Haggerty, Stephen E. (15 April 2015). "Discovery of a kimberlite pipe and recognition of a diagnostic botanical indicator in NW Liberia". Economic Geology. doi:10.2113/econgeo.110.4.851. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  4. ^ * Temple, Robert. The Genius of China. London: Prion Books Limited 1999 159 pages

Books

  • Craddock, Paul T. Early Metal Mining and Production. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press 1995.
Oxalis

Oxalis (American English) or (British English) is a large genus of flowering plants in the wood-sorrel family Oxalidaceae comprising about 570 species. The genus occurs throughout most of the world, except for the polar areas; species diversity is particularly rich in tropical Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

Many of the species are known as wood sorrels (sometimes written "woodsorrels" or "wood-sorrels") as they have an acidic taste reminiscent of the sorrel proper (Rumex acetosa), which is only distantly related. Some species are called yellow sorrels or pink sorrels after the color of their flowers instead. Other species are colloquially known as false shamrocks, and some called sourgrasses. For the genus as a whole, the term oxalises is also used.

Phytogeography

Phytogeography (from Greek φυτόν, phytón = "plant" and γεωγραφία, geographía = "geography" meaning also distribution) or botanical geography is the branch of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic distribution of plant species and their influence on the earth's surface. Phytogeography is concerned with all aspects of plant distribution, from the controls on the distribution of individual species ranges (at both large and small scales, see species distribution) to the factors that govern the composition of entire communities and floras. Geobotany, by contrast, focuses on the geographic space's influence on plants.

Prospecting

Prospecting is the first stage of the geological analysis (second – exploration) of a territory. It is the physical search for minerals, fossils, precious metals or mineral specimens, and is also known as fossicking.

Prospecting is a small-scale form of mineral exploration which is an organised, large scale effort undertaken by commercial mineral companies to find commercially viable ore deposits.

Prospecting is physical labour, involving traversing (traditionally on foot or on horseback), panning, sifting and outcrop investigation, looking for signs of mineralisation. In some areas a prospector must also make claims, meaning they must erect posts with the appropriate placards on all four corners of a desired land they wish to prospect and register this claim before they may take samples. In other areas publicly held lands are open to prospecting without staking a mining claim.

Silene suecica

Silene suecica is a species of plant in the Caryophyllaceae family. Its common name is Red Alpine catchfly and its natural habitat is the mountains of Norway and Sweden but it is sometimes found near the coasts and it is also found in the Alps and the Pyrenees, Greenland and North America.

Subdisciplines
Plant groups
Plant morphology
(glossary)
Plant growth and habit
Reproduction
Plant taxonomy
Practice
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