The Geochemical Baseline Mapping Programme of Europe of the former Forum of European Geological Surveys (FOREGS), presently the Association of European Geological Surveys (EuroGeoSurveys, EGS –, was the first to follow IGCP 259 recommendations for the establishment of the European Geochemical Reference Network.  At different field meetings at Aveiro (Portugal), Limbach (Slovak Republic) and Vail (Colorado, USA) in the mid 1990s the main sampling and analytical strategies were discussed and decided upon, resulting in the definition of a set of internationally agreed sampling protocols for different morphoclimatic environments, including temperate, glacial and mediterranean.  The result was the production of the FOREGS Geochemical Mapping Field Manual (Salminen, Tarvainen et al., 1998) for the collection of a set of geochemical reference materials with the aim to produce a standardised geochemical data set as in input to the work of the then IUGS/IAGC Task Group on Global Geochemical Baselines for the establishment of the Global Geochemical Reference Network.  The collaboration of professional applied geochemists, which resulted in this field manual, has been widespread, both in terms of geographical location and experience.


The IUGS mandate to the IUGS Commission on Global Geochemical Baselines is the compilation of a comprehensive manual of standard methods.  Hence, the Commission is developing the 'International Union of Geological Sciences Manual of Standard Methods for Establishing the Global Geochemical Reference Network, which is based on the FOREGS Geochemical Mapping Field Manual but greatly expanded and well-illustrated.  It is anticipated that this manual will be completed in the first six months of 2019.  In the meantime, it is strongly recommended that the FOREGS Geochemical Mapping Field Manual is used, especially by the UNESCO International Centre on Global-Scale Geochemistry, and all collaborating countries, according to paragraph 7.1 of Article 7 of the recently approved and ratified Centre's Statutes (16/10/2018), namely:

Article 7: The functions of the Centre shall be to:

7.1. Apply the standardised global-scale geochemical methods developed by the IUGS Commission on Global Geochemical Baselines, so as to document the concentration and spatial distribution of chemical elements in the various environmental compartments of the Earth’s surface, and to establish global geochemical baselines for monitoring future geochemical changes;

 For any questions contact Alecos Demetriades (E-mail:, Chairperson of Sampling Committee.


 DownloadFOREGS/EuroGeoSurveys Geochemical Mapping Field Manual from:

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