Global mapping of Al, Cu, Fe, and Zn in-use stocks and in-ground resources

Global mapping of Al, Cu, Fe, and Zn in-use stocks and in-ground resources
Jason Rauch
Journal Article
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Human activity has become a significant geomorphic force in modern
times, resulting in unprecedented movements of material around
Earth. An essential constituent of this material movement, the major
industrial metals aluminium, copper, iron, and zinc in the human-built
environment are mapped globally at 1-km nominal resolution for the
year 2000 and compared with the locations of present-day in-ground
resources. While the maps of in-ground resources generated essentially
combine available databases, the mapping methodology of
in-use stocks relies on the linear regression between gross domestic
product and both in-use stock estimates and the Nighttime Lights of
the World dataset. As the first global maps of in-use metal stocks,
they reveal that a full 25% of the world's Fe, Al, Cu, and Zn in-use
deposits are concentrated in three bands: (i) the Eastern seaboard
from Washington, D.C. to Boston in the United States, (ii) England,
Benelux into Germany and Northern Italy, and (iii) South Korea and
Japan. This pattern is consistent across all metals investigated. In
contrast, the global maps of primary metal resources reveal these
deposits are more evenly distributed between the developed and
developing worlds, with the distribution pattern differing depending
on the metal. This analysis highlights the magnitude at which inground
metal resources have been translocated to in-use stocks,
largely from highly concentrated but globally dispersed in-ground
deposits to more diffuse in-use stocks located primarily in developed
urban regions.


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