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Exploration of uranium and mineral deposits using remote sensing data and GIS applications, Serbal area, Southwestern Sinai, Egypt

Abstract

The Serbal area is mountainous and one of the most important uranium and other mineral deposit localities in Sinai, Egypt. Remote sensing data and GIS tools were utilized to locate and map these mineral deposits. The different alteration minerals (kaolinite, hematite, elite, alunite, sericite, chlorite, and epidote) were detected and mapped by applying the feature oriented principal component selection (Crosta technique) on the ASTER image. Also, the structure lineaments were manually extracted form integrated enhanced ASTER image spatial filtering techniques (edge detection 5 × 5, horizontal edge detection 3 × 3, high pass filter 3 × 3, sharpen filter 4, and summary 7 × 7 kernel size). Statistical treatment of extracted structure lineaments was performed to compute the photo-lineament factor to produce the photo-lineament anomaly map. The different layers of alteration minerals and photo-lineament anomalies were produced by using GIS tools. Estimated weights were assigned to these layers and integrated into them within the framework of GIS to produce the geospatial model. Five high potential anomalies of this model, controlled by lithological and structural factors, were identified and verified in the field. It was found that the equivalent uranium content in the anomaly zones ranges from 95 up to 535 ppm with an average of 180 ppm in different localities of the studied area, such as G. Serbal, G. Umm Lakh, and G. Samra. The majority of these anomalies are associated with alkaline granite rocks, and they are structurally associated with the NW and SE directions.

Highlights

• The FPCS technique succeeded in detecting and mapping of spatial distribution of chlorite, kaolinite, elite, alunite, epidote, sericite, and hematite alteration in the studied area.

• Spatial filtering process was performed using different convolution kernels (edge detects 5*5, horizontal edge detection 3*3, high pass 3*3, sharpen4, and summary 7*7) succeeded to extract the structural lineaments.

• GIS applications succeeded to integrate the weighted alteration mineral layers (chlorite, kaolinite, elite, alunite, epidote, sericite, and hematite) and structural photo-lineaments within the framework of GIS to produce the potential sites of uranium and mineral deposit model.

• Five probable high anomaly zones controlled by the lithological and structural factor were detected by using portable gamma ray scintillometer model (GR-256). These anomalies have geospatial distributed in the study area. It was confirmed that there are promising new localities for radioactive mineralization in the study area, where the eU content in the study area ranges from 30 to 535 ppm.

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Correspondence to Ali E. Omar.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on New Advances and Research Results on the Geology of Africa.

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Aita, S.K., Omar, A.E. Exploration of uranium and mineral deposits using remote sensing data and GIS applications, Serbal area, Southwestern Sinai, Egypt. Arab J Geosci 14, 2214 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-021-08568-0

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Keywords

  • Serbal area
  • Southwestern Sinai
  • Remote sensing
  • GIS
  • Crosta technique
  • Photo-lineament
  • FPCS
  • Radioactive mineralization
  • Mineral deposits