BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Inorganic geochemistry

Inorganic geochemistry

The analysis of the composition of rocks, ores, minerals, water and soils adds a vital contribution to the understanding of geological mechanisms. Inorganic geochemistry is divided into special fields of research corresponding to the area of enquiry.

Geochemistry, rocks and ores

The composition of rocks, ores and minerals is often investigated to determine their content of economically interesting substances, such as metals and precious metals. Another important aspect is the content of (harmful) substances, which can be released during mining and processing procedures or in the course of their industrial and technical use.


The composition and quality of different water types (e.g. groundwater, surface- water) is analysed in hydrogeochemistry. Even today, in many regions of the world, the adequate supply of potable water to people is not guaranteed. Hydrogeochemists from the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, with their technical facilities, support world-wide projects aiming to guarantee water supplies.

Isotope geology

Mechanisms of many geological processes often can be reconstructed by isotope analyses. Determining isotope ratios geologists work on questions concerning the development of mineral deposits and the origins of minerals and rocks. For example, the age of geological materials can be determined from the decay of naturally occurring radioactive substances by precise measurement of their isotopic composition.

This Page: