Integration of ASTER and airborne geophysical data for mineral exploration and environmental mapping: a case study, Gabal Dara, North Eastern Desert, Egypt

  • Kh. Gemail
  • N. M. Abd-El Rahman
  • B. M. Ghiath
  • R. N. Aziz
Original Article


Remote sensing ASTER-SWIR data and airborne geophysical techniques are cost effective and accurate mapping tools for mineral exploration and environmental mapping, compared with the conventional geological methods. In the present work, the ASTER data, airborne gamma ray spectrometry and magnetic techniques were applied for mapping alteration and/or mineralization zones in the granitic rocks of Gabal Dara area. In addition, the natural dose rate was calculated and compared with stream networks and structural lineaments to define the potential hazards caused by anomalous distribution of natural radioelements. In Gabal Dara area, Syeno-granite unit was considered as a mapping target due to the high concentration of radioactive materials as indicated from gamma-ray spectrometry data. Remote sensing techniques and airborne geophysical data analysis through GIS based modeling were jointly applied in a mineral exploration context to identify radioactive rich potential areas in the considered area. The obtained results illustrate the efficiency of the integrated methodological approach as an effective tool to provide information on alteration minerals which are valuable for mineral exploration activities and support the role of ASTER VNIR-SWIR and airborne geophysical data integration as a very effective tool and robust image processing technique for that purpose. The constructed vector maps can be used as a guide for further follow-up of radioelement and mineral exploration works and for environmental monitoring in the area.


Principal component Gamma-spectrometry Alteration zones Natural radiation Dose rate 



We wish to thank Jim. Merriam, Professor of Geophysics, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and Ashraf Ghoneimi, Professor of Geophysics, Zagazig University, Egypt for their careful review of the manuscript, which has improved the accuracy of the text. We also thank reviewers for their comments, which were especially helpful in clarifying certain points in the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kh. Gemail
    • 1
  • N. M. Abd-El Rahman
    • 2
  • B. M. Ghiath
    • 3
  • R. N. Aziz
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Geophysics Laboratory (ZEGL), Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  2. 2.Geological Applications and Mineral Resources DivisionNational Authority for Remote Sensing and Space SciencesCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Exploration Division, Follow Up DepartmentEgyptian Nuclear Materials AuthorityCairoEgypt

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