Earth Science Frontiers ›› 2012, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (3): 1-6.

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The IUGS/IAGC Task Group on Global Geochemical Baselines

The IUGS/IAGC Task Group on Global Geochemical Baselines   

  1. aU.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO 80225 USA bInstitute of Geophysical and Geochemical Exploration, Langfang, Hebei 065000, China cBritish Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, UK dInstitute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, Athens, Greece  
  • Received:2011-09-28 Revised:2012-01-31 Online:2012-05-25 Published:2012-05-25
  • Contact: E-mail address: (D.B. Smith)


The Task Group on Global Geochemical Baselines, operating under the auspices of both the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and the International Association of Geochemistry (IAGC), has the longterm goal of establishing a global geochemical database to document the concentration and distribution of chemical elements in the Earth’s surface or nearsurface environment. The database and accompanying element distribution maps represent a geochemical baseline against which future humaninduced or natural changes to the chemistry of the land surface may be recognized and quantified. In order to accomplish this longterm goal, the activities of the Task Group include: (1) developing partnerships with countries conducting broadscale geochemical mapping studies; (2) providing consultation and training in the form of workshops and short courses; (3) organizing periodic international symposia to foster communication among the geochemical mapping community; (4) developing criteria for certifying those projects whose data are acceptable in a global geochemical database; (5) acting as a repository for data collected by those projects meeting the criteria for standardization; (6) preparing complete metadata for the certified projects; and (7) preparing, ultimately, a global geochemical database. This paper summarizes the history and accomplishments of the Task Group since its first predecessor project was established in 1988.

Key words: Geochemical baseline, Global scale, Geochemistry, Geochemical mapping, Geochemical survey