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Successful spectral remote sensing techniques for mapping apatite mineral of phosphatic rocks at eastern side of Abu Tartur Plateau, Western Desert, Egypt

Abstract

Spectral remote sensing mapping methods were applied for mapping apatite mineral as a key indicator of phosphate ore outcrops at the eastern side of Abu Tartur Plateau, Western Desert, Egypt, using Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Landsat series imagery. Previous investigations of known phosphate deposits reflect its economic importance and validates exploration potential for additional prospects. Remote sensing processing techniques were used to extract and interpret spectral data using the ASTER spectral library and well-known outcrops in the selected area. Different spectral target detection mapping methods were used and compared to adaptive coherence/cosine estimator (ACE), including matched filtering (MF), mixture tuned matched filtering (MTMF), spectral feature fitting (SFF), spectral angle mapper (SAM), and spectral information divergence (SID). ACE exhibited the highest discrimination for apatite distribution along the outcrop. The spatial distribution and intensity of apatite as an endmember within the study area is correlated to well-known phosphate outcrops zones and shows the potential for using ACE in targeting new prospects. A temporal comparison investigation within six separate time periods during the last 30 years showed the progression of mining in the area and founded correlated with the same detection sites. Such techniques applied to multispectral images demonstrate the effectiveness for mapping phosphate ore in the study area and in other regions for assessing the potential for mineral mapping with faster and cost-efficient.

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Acknowledgements

The author gratefully acknowledges Prof. Scott Brande for his critical review of the manuscript. The author also would like to acknowledge NASA for remote sensing data (ASTER and Landsat) used in this study. The author is indebted to the editor and anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and annotations that greatly improved an earlier version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Reda A. El-Arafy.

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Responsible Editor: Biswajeet Pradhan

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El-Arafy, R.A. Successful spectral remote sensing techniques for mapping apatite mineral of phosphatic rocks at eastern side of Abu Tartur Plateau, Western Desert, Egypt. Arab J Geosci 14, 1658 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-021-08129-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-021-08129-5

Keywords

  • Abu Tartur
  • Phosphate
  • Apatite
  • ASTER
  • ACE
  • Target detection