Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

First steps of integrated spatial modeling of titanium, zirconium, and rare earth element resources within the Coastal Plain sediments of the southeastern United States

June 12, 2015

The Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States has extensive, unconsolidated sedimentary deposits that are enriched in heavy minerals containing titanium, zirconium, and rare earth element resources. Areas favorable for exploration and development of these resources are being identified by geochemical data, which are supplemented with geological, geophysical, hydrological, and geographical data. The first steps of this analysis have been completed. The concentrations of lanthanum, yttrium, and titanium tend to decrease as distance from the Piedmont (which is the likely source of these resources) increases and are moderately correlated with airborne measurements of equivalent thorium concentration. The concentrations of lanthanum, yttrium, and titanium are relatively high in those watersheds that adjoin the Piedmont, south of the Cape Fear Arch. Although this relation suggests that the concentrations are related to the watersheds, it may be simply an independent regional trend. The concentration of zirconium is unrelated to the distance from the Piedmont, the equivalent thorium concentration, and the watershed. These findings establish a foundation for more sophisticated analyses using integrated spatial modeling.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title First steps of integrated spatial modeling of titanium, zirconium, and rare earth element resources within the Coastal Plain sediments of the southeastern United States
DOI 10.3133/ofr20151111
Authors Karl J. Ellefsen, Bradley S. Van Gosen, David L. Fey, James R. Budahn, Steven M. Smith, Anjana K. Shah
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2015-1111
Index ID ofr20151111
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center