The geochemical atlas of Alaska, 2016

Data Series 908
Prepared in cooperation with the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys
By: , and 



A rich legacy of geochemical data produced since the early 1960s covers the great expanse of Alaska; careful treatment of such data may provide significant and revealing geochemical maps that may be used for landscape geochemistry, mineral resource exploration, and geoenvironmental investigations over large areas. To maximize the spatial density and extent of data coverage for statewide mapping of element distributions, we compiled and integrated analyses of more than 175,000 sediment and soil samples from three major, separate sources: the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Uranium Resource Evaluation program, and the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys geochemical databases. Various types of heterogeneity and deficiencies in these data presented major challenges to our development of coherently integrated datasets for modeling and mapping of element distributions. Researchers from many different organizations and disparate scientific studies collected samples that were analyzed using highly variable methods throughout a time period of more than 50 years, during which many changes in analytical techniques were developed and applied. Despite these challenges, the U.S. Geological Survey has produced a new systematically integrated compilation of sediment and soil geochemical data with an average sample site density of approximately 1 locality per 10 square kilometers (km2) for the entire State of Alaska, although density varies considerably among different areas. From that compilation, we have modeled and mapped the distributions of 68 elements, thus creating an updated geochemical atlas for the State.


Suggested Citation

Lee, G.K., Yager, D.B., Mauk, J.L, Granitto, Matthew, Denning, P.D., Wang, Bronwen, and Werdon, M.B., 2016, The Geochemical Atlas of Alaska, 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 908, 25 p., 272 sheets (11"×17"), GIS database,

ISSN: 2327-638X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Explanation of Map Sheets and Figures
  • Data Delivery
  • Discussion and Conclusions
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The geochemical atlas of Alaska, 2016
Series title Data Series
Series number 908
ISBN 978-1-4113-4039-8
DOI 10.3133/ds908
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description Report: vi, 24 p.; 68 Sheets: 218 MB or less zip files; 2 Tables; Figure; Data Release; Metadata; Read Me
Country United States
State Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details