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Nature, characterization and resource potential of littoral placer deposits of Goa, central west coast of India

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of the littoral heavy mineral placers from selected beaches of Goa, central west coast of India. The placer minerals are detailed in terms of their spatial and temporal distributions, mineral assemblage, microscopic characters, mineral chemistry, elemental ratios, hydraulic fractionation and depositional environments. The mineral assemblage is represented by opaque (ilmenite, magnetite) and transparent minerals (garnet, hornblende, tourmaline, epidote, zircon, augite, hypersthene, titanite, olivine, kyanite, sillimanite staurolite and rutile. The presence of fresh and altered minerals along with ultra-stable minerals are suggestive of their mixed contribution from rivers and paleo-sediments in near shore/shelf through combined actions of waves and littoral currents during various stages of sea-level fluctuations during Holocene. Erosional and depositional signatures of sea-level fluctuations during Holocene are well preserved along the shore. Heavy mineral assemblage with variable ratios and factor analysis suggests their derivation from metamorphic rocks (primarily metagreywackes) and igneous (basaltic dykes) rocks present in the study area. The potential inferred reserves of strategic minerals are ilmenite 81,480 t and magnetite 1,23,491 t.

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Acknowledgements

We thank all the Directors of the CSIR-NIO for their encouragement and providing facilities during the duration of the work. We acknowledge the help received from students and project assistants who helped us in the field work and laboratory analysis. We thank Dr. V. Senapathi, Department of Disaster Management, Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, India for help with the factor analysis. This work was funded under the CSIR network Project CMM 0023, which was initiated by the Planning Commission of India, through the Director of CSIR-CIMFR (formerly CMRI). Under this project, the placer minerals along Maharashtra and Goa were investigated by the CSIR-NIO, Goa. We are thankful to the two reviewers for insightful comments which were very useful to improve the presentation of the manuscript. We acknowledge Dr. Maria Virginia Alves Martins (Editor-in-Chief) for encouraging us to submit the revised manuscript.

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Gujar, A.R., Iyer, S.D., Udayaganesan, P. et al. Nature, characterization and resource potential of littoral placer deposits of Goa, central west coast of India. J. Sediment. Environ. 6, 359–380 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43217-021-00064-5

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Keywords

  • Littoral placers
  • Ilmenite
  • Magnetite
  • Resource estimation
  • Goa
  • India