The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Elemental Barrier provides a barrier of elemental protection around the caster increasing his or her defenses against melee, ranged, and bolt attacks, and his or her TD against elemental spells.
The spell will protect the user from a maneuver if the maneuver is able to be defended against by a shield. For example, soul golems pushing a character into steam vents can be deflected by a shield, so this spell would give the user protection.
Further training in the Minor Elemental spell circle increases both the DS and TD by +1 for every 2 spell ranks known over 30.