​​Overview
 
The Saudi Geological Survey was created in 2000 to continue the acquisition of geoscientific data, mainly in the Arabian Shield. This is an attractive area for mineral exploration and investment in the Kingdom’s resources sector.  One of the key ways to help increase resource exploration by companies is the provision by the government of new, high quality geoscience information, which will stimulate increased private sector resource exploration and ultimately lead to new mineral discoveries. The Department of Geochemical Survey in the SGS is responsible for conducting reconnaissance-scale stream-sediment geochemical surveys and providing complementary research and orientation studies designed to promote the effective use of exploration geochemistry in the Arabian Shield. The program comprises the collection of -2 mm fractions from second-order streams at density of one sample per 25 km². To date, over 5,000 stream sediment samples have been collected from 11 quadrangles covering approximately 10 per cent of the Arabian Shield. The survey program continues to maintain sample collection, preparation and analysis with the aim of covering the entire Arabian Shield. The database produced from these regional programs and subsequent detailed studies is used to generate spot-plot and iso-concentration geochemical maps for different elements that can be used for mineral exploration, resource management, land use planning, and environmental assessment.
 
Objectives
 
The objective of the reconnaissance geochemicalstream-sediment survey program is to:

- Contribute to the geochemical atlas of the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia.
- Identify areas with high mineral potential in order to help industry find new exploration targets.
- Produce baseline geochemical data for environmental monitoring, land use planning etc.
- Contribute to the international geochemical map.
- Test new geochemical methods.
- Train junior geochemists.

These objectives are achieved through systematically sampling stream sediments, determine the concentrations of about 60 elements in the samples through ICP and AAS techniques, and present the spatial variations of the elements as geochemical maps.

Laboratory Facilities
Chemical Laboratory 

• Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer (OPTIMA 4300 ICP-OES).
• Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer (GFAAS).
 
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Field technician collecting stream sediment sample. 
 
 
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       Rabigh quadrangle-iso-concentration map of Cu in  stream sediments. 
 
 
Recent Publications
Abdalla, I.O., Al-Thekair, M., Al-Johani, A.,H., Al-Ghanmi, Y., Al-Nashri, M., Sabbahi, A., Al-Eisa, A., Balkheyour, M., 2010. A contribution to the Geochemical Atlas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Geochemical survey of the Rabigh quadrangle, 22D, Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report SGS-TR-2009-11, 99 p., 97 figs., 5 tables, 2 apps.

Al-Thekair, M., Al-Johani, A.H., Al-Ghanmi, Y., Al-Nashri, M., 2005. Contribution to the geochemical Atlas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Geochemical survey of Makkah Al Makarrama quadrangle, 21D, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report SGS-TR-2004-2, 88 p., 130 figs., 8 tables.
 
 
 
In Press
 
A contribution to the Geochemical Atlas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Geochemical survey of the Umm al Birak quadrangle, 23D, Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report.

A contribution to the Geochemical Atlas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Geochemical survey of the Yanbu al Bahr quadrangle, 24C, Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report.
 
 
 
 
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Umm al Birak Quadrangle – Stream-sediment distribution of Ba (ppm) plotted over geology.
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 The sample location is marked and the coordinates are recorded using hand-held GPS units
 
X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory (XRD), for heavy mineral concentrates analysis.
 
Geological Laboratory, well equipped for stream-sediment and soil sample preparation.

GIS-Laboratory, for satellite images, topographic sheets and other necessary base maps preparation.
 
Additionally there are computer facilities including many personal computers with the necessary statistical and geochemical mapping software. Field support and logistics (these include 4WD cars and Bell 206 helicopters) are also available from the General Department of Technical Support.
 
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 Geochemical survey team in the field.
 
Services and Clientele
 
In addition to the technical reports, determinations for up to 60 metals, field observations and sample location coordinates for surveyed quadrangles are stored in the Saudi Geological Survey geosciences database and are available to the mining industry and other private sectors. Although the survey is oriented toward mineral exploration, its database can also be used to provide baseline geochemical information for multi-user applications such as environmental monitoring, geological mapping, and land-use evaluation.
 
The geochemical survey expertise enables the department's staff to carry out reconnaissance and detailed stream-sediment and soil geochemical surveys and to evaluate geochemical data for the mining industry and the private sector. The Department also provides training to undergraduate and graduate students in the field of exploration geochemistry.