Principal Component analysis of the geochemistry of soil developed on till in Northern Ireland

M Dempster, P Dunlop, A.J. Scheib, M Cooper

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15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents results from the first statistical analysis of soils developed on till in Northern Ireland using the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland Tellus regional geochemical database. Till geochemistry is largely determined by its parent bedrock and soils developed on tills are known to inherit this geochemical signature. Soil geochemistry from areas of till can therefore be used to establish sediment provenance which in turn provides information on palaeo ice flow and ice sheet history. In this study we use Principal Component Analysis to establish geochemical groupings that can be related back to likely bedrock parent material for the tills in the region. The maps, presented here at 1:445,000 scale, show the results of the first regional investigation of soil geochemistry of part of the northern sector of the Irish Ice Sheet. The results indicate that the upper surface of the majority of tills in the study area have a close relationship to local bedrock with rapid geochemical changes observed at lithological boundaries. This suggests that tills in this sector of the Irish Ice Sheet are primarily local in origin, indicating rapid entrainment of bedrock and low rates of evacuation of debris to the ice margin
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalJournal of Maps
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2013


  • Geochemistry
  • Tellus
  • soil
  • till
  • British Irish Ice Sheet


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