Identifying the chemical constitution of earth’s crust and its mineral potential would not require rigourous digging and exploration anymore with the first ever national geochemical atlas being put together by cartographers and scientists of the Geological Survey of India (GSI). The atlas, which will have geochemical maps on the 1:50,000 scale, was prompted by the concern for creating a local geochemical database mooted in the international geological core relation programme (IGCP). Being undertaken by GSI, Chennai, the ambitious project would be India’s contribution to the world geochemical atlas, the team behind the project told an international conference on cartography recently. “The geochemical maps would be graphic representation of analytical data of elements present in the earth’s crust for utilisation in different disciplines of economic and environmental studies,” RK Sinha, member of the team said.
Besides compiling data for the global reference network of geochemical database, the maps would also identify changes in chemical elements of earth’s crust, mineral potential, environmental indices including health, groundwater, agriculture, forestry, rural development and urban town planning. Stream sediments, humus, stream water, topography and field components generated from various agencies including geology, gromorphology, land use, soil and drainage would be the various indices portrayed in individual maps of the atlas. “All these maps would be integrated as thematic maps along with the geochemical map of the area. The samples collected and subsequent analysis for different elements will serve as reference material,” Sinha said.