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The search for ore minerals led to the first geochemical mapping projects, and the introduction to this programme shows a simple field test which was used to locate a British copper body. from the search for specific minerals, Professor John Webb of Imperial College, developed a technique for rapid reconnaisance scale mapping, using stream sediments. This work resulted in the production of an atlas of trace element distribution for Britain. Trace element concentrations affect the health of all living systems, and the programme details two examples of farm animal health problems caused by trace element anomalies. Professor Webb's work has led to more detailed stream sediment mapping programmes. Dr Jane Plant at the Institute of Geological Sciences in London, describes a project which, it is hoped will lead to a closer correlation between epidemiology and the future prospects for geochemical mapping are detailed.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S237, "The Earth, structure, composition and evolution"
Item code: S237; 17
First transmission date: 23-09-1982
Published: 1982
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: John Simmons
Contributors: Iain Thornton; John Webb
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Anomalies; British element distribution; Copper deficiency; Epidemiology; Farms; Minerals; Ore; Stream sediments
Footage description: Shots of Afon Mawddach. Geoff Brown, standing on the bank, introduces the programme. Geoff Brown explains and performsd a simple field test for determining the amount of extractable copper in the stream sediment. He goes on to perform the experiment again at the point where a tributary joins the stream. Brown goes on to analyse a sample of peat from a bog along the tributary stream. An animated map shows copper concentrations in the area. Shots of Brown at a rock outcrop above the peat bog. He looks at rock samples, explains that this is the source of the copper found in the peat bog and also the mechanism by which copper is extracted from the rocks. Shots of the valley around the outcrop. Interview with Professor John Webb who pioneered the stream sediment method of geochemical mapping. He explains how he compiled his geochemical atlas of Britain. Dr. Iain Thornton from Imperial College, who worked on the atlas with Prof. Webb and Bud Herridge a farmer, talk about, a practical application for geochemical surveying in animal husbandry. This particular, example involves a copper deficiency in cattle caused by high concentrations of molybdenum in the soil. Shots of cattle in fields and animated graphics. Geoff Brown and Prof. Webb discuss geochemical anomalies which, are not solely related to the geology of an area. Their example is lead poisoning due to pollution from lead smelting. A farmer, Peter Atkin, who raises sheep in an area contaminated with lead, discusses the problems he faced. Geoff Brown interviews Jane Plant at the Institute of Geological Sciences, London. They discuss some recent development in geochemical surveying techniques. She points out, particularly, why the atlas being produced there is an improvement on previous atlases. Shots of the I.G.S. Laboratories show how field samples are analysed.
Master spool number: HOU4030
Production number: FOUS248W
Videofinder number: 1607
Available to public: no