A study of the lake sediment geochemistry of the Melville Peninsula using multivariate methods: Applications for predictive geological mapping

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Engineering / Natural Resources Modelling and Simulation Research Group




This article was originally published as: Grunsky, E., Mueller, U. A., & Corrigan, D. (2013). A study of the lake sediment geochemistry of the Melville Peninsula using multivariatemethods: Applications for predictive geological mapping. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 141, 15-41. Original article available here


The effectiveness of predictive geological mapping was tested using re-analyzed lake sediment geochemical data from lakes across the Melville Peninsula in Nunavut, Canada. The treatment of lake sediment geochemical data within the compositional framework of logratio analysis and the corresponding use of principal component analysis, analysis of variance, linear discriminant analysis and spatial analysis with ordinary kriging provide an informative and quantitative manner for lithologic mapping. Principal component analysis provides useful information on the multi-element associations based on the contrast of rock types in the area. Supracrustal sedimentary rocks have a multi-element character that is distinctive from rocks derived from granitoid and gneissic rocks. The analysis of variance provides details on which elements are the best discriminators for differentiating between the rock types represented by the lake sediment geochemistry and the spatial analysis provides insight into the direction and spatial continuity of the elements associated with specific map units. Linear discriminant analysis provides a basis for distinguishing between the different map units and provides a method of validating the predictive capability of mapping the underlying map units based on the lake sediment geochemistry. The application of multivariate statistical methods on lake sediment geochemical data provides the basis for establishing an objective approach for discovering and classifying geochemical processes from which existing geological maps can be tested and validated and new geological maps can be made in areas where sufficient geological information is lacking.