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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Acharya, B. C., Nayak, B. K., & Das, S. K. (2009). Heavy mineral placer sand deposits of Kontiagarh area, Ganjam district, Orissa, India. Resource Geology, 59(4), 388–399. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-3928.2009.00105.x
Angusamy, N. (2006). Placer deposits of southern Tamil Nadu coast, India. Marine Georesources and Geotechnology, 24(2), 77–102. https://doi.org/10.1080/10641190600704350
Angusamy, N., Dajkumar Sahayam, J., Suresh Gandhi, M., & Rajamanickam, G. V. (2005). Coastal placer deposits of central Tamil Nadu, India. Marine Georesources and Geotechnology, 23(3), 137–174. https://doi.org/10.1080/10641190500192102
Angusamy, N., & Rajamanickam, G. V. (2000). Distribution of heavy minerals along the beaches from Mandapam to Kanyakumari. Journal of Geological Society of India, 56, 199–211.
Anon (2007). Origin, distribution and evaluation of placers of Goa. Report to CSIR-NIO, Dona Paula, Goa. CSIR Network Project on Placers (CMM 0023), p. 59.
Antony, M. K. (1976). Wave refraction studies off Calangute Beach, Goa with special reference to sediment transport and rip currents. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, 5, 1–8.
Biswas, A. B., & Roy, R. N. (1976). A study on depositional process and heavy mineral assemblage of the Quaternary sediments from Murshidabad dist., West Bengal. Proceedings of the Indian Science National Academy, 47(A), 372–386.
Blott, S. J., & Pye, K. (2001). GRADISTAT: a grain size distribution and statistics package for the analysis of unconsolidated sediments. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 26(11), 1237–1248. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.261
Chandramohan, P., Kumar, V. S., & Jena, B. K. (1997). Rip current zones along beaches in Goa, west coast of India. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, 123(6), 322–328. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-950X(1997)123:6(322)
Chowdhury, P., Behera, M. R., & Reeve, D. E. (2019). Wave climate projections along the Indian coast. International Journal of Climatology, 39(11), 4531–4542. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.6096
Cronan, D. S. (1980). Underwater minerals. Academic Press.
Dessai, A. G. (2011). The geology of Goa Group: revisited. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 78(3), 233. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-011-0083-7
Dhinesh, S., Udayaganesan, P., Ramakrishnan, D., Rajani, R., & Muthu, J. X. I. (2020). An integrated strategy for the exploration of palaeofluvial placer deposits. Applied Geomatics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12518-020-00332-5
Dinesh, A. C., Shareef, N. M., Baraik, S., & Prasad, D. (2015). Occurrence of heavy minerals in the coastal sediments of Daman-Dandi, Gujarat. Indian Journal of Geoscience, 69, 323–330.
Emery, K. O., & Noakes, L. C. (1968). Economic placer deposits of the continental shelf. Technical Bull. Economic Comission for Asia and Far East, UN, 1, 95–110.
Feio, M. (1958). Problems geomorphologicas de Goa. Garcia do Orta, numero special dedica do a India Portuguesa, pp. 39–78.
Fernandes, G. Q. (2018). Geology and characteristics of metagreywacke and associated rocks of Goa, India. PhD. Thesis (Unpubl.), Goa University, p. 195.
Fernandes, G. Q., Iyer, S. D., & Kotha, M. (2016). The origin and tectonic setting of Precambrian Greywacke of Ribandar-Chimbel, Goa, India: petrological and geochemical evidence. Acta Geologica Sinica-English Edition, 90(6), 2036–2048. https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-6724.13020
Fernandes, O. A. (2009). Physiography and general geology of Goa. Natural resources of Goa: a geological perspective. Geological Society of Goa, Miramar Goa, pp. 11–24.
Flores, R. M., & Shideler, G. L. (1978). Factors controlling heavy-mineral variations on the South Texas outer continental shelf, Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 48(1), 269–280. https://doi.org/10.1306/212F744B-2B24-11D7-8648000102C1865D
Folk, R. L. (1968). Petrology of sedimentary rocks: Hemphill’s. Austin, Texas, vol. 170, pp. 85.
Force, E. R. (1980). The provenance of rutile. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 50(2), 485–488. https://doi.org/10.1306/212F7A31-2B24-11D7-8648000102C1865D
Friedman, G. M. (1961). Distinction between dune, beach, and river sands from their textural characteristics. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 31(4), 514–529. https://doi.org/10.1306/74D70BCD-2B21-11D7-8648000102C1865D
Friedman, G. M. (1967). Dynamic processes and statistical parameters compared for size frequency distribution of beach and river sands. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 37(2), 327–354. https://doi.org/10.1306/74D716CC-2B21-11D7-8648000102C1865D
Gadgil, R., Viegas, A., & Iyer, S. D. (2019). Structure and emplacement of the Coastal Deccan tholeiitic dyke swarm in Goa, on the western Indian rifted margin. Bulletin of Volcanology, 81(6), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00445-019-1297-6
Galehouse, J. S. (1969). Counting grain mounts; number percentage vs. number frequency. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 39(2), 812–815. https://doi.org/10.1306/74D71D3E-2B21-11D7-8648000102C1865D
Galehouse, J. S. (1971). Point counting. In R. E. Carver (Ed.), The procedures in sedimentary petrology (pp. 385–407). Wiley-Interscience.
Ganeshan, P. (2006). Program to obtain vertical heights from mean sea level and computing volume of sand along beaches: a case study with Kalbadevi beach profiling data and results. (NIO/TRA/01/2006), National Institute of Oceanography Technical Report, p. 9.
Garzanti, E., & Andò, S. (2019). Heavy minerals for Junior Woodchucks. Minerals, 9(3), 148. https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030148
Garzanti, E., Dinis, P., Vermeesch, P., Andò, S., Hahn, A., Huvi, J., et al. (2018). Sedimentary processes controlling ultralong cells of littoral transport: placer formation and termination of the Orange sand highway in southern Angola. Sedimentology, 65(2), 431–460. https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.12387
Ghosal, S., Agrahari, S., Banerjee, S., Chakrabarti, R., & Sengupta, D. (2020). Geochemistry of the heavy mineral sands from the Garampeta to the Markandi beach, southern coast of Odisha, India: implications of high contents of REE and radioelements attributed to Placer Monazite. Journal of Earth System Science, 129(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-020-01419-8
Gokul, A. R., Srinivasan, M. D., Gopal Krishnan, K., & Vishwanathan (1985). Stratigraphy and structure of Goa. In Earth resources of Goa’s development, Hyderabad (pp. 1–13). Geological Survey of India.
Gujar, A. R., Ambre, N. V., Iyer, S. D., Mislankar, P. G., & Loveson, V. J. (2010a). Placer chromite along south Maharashtra, central west coast of India. Current Science, 99, 492–499.
Gujar, A. R., Ambre, N. V., Mislankar, P. G., & Iyer, S. D. (2010b). Ilmenite, magnetite and chromite beach placers from South Maharashtra, central west coast of India. Resource Geology, 60(1), 71–86. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-3928.2010.00115.x
Gujar, A. R., Angusamy, A., & Rajmanickam, G. V. (2008). Wave refraction pattern and their role in sediment distribution along South Konkan, Maharashtra, India. Geo Acta, 7, 69–79.
Hails, J. R., & Hoyt, J. H. (1969). An appraisal of the evolution of the lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia, USA. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. https://doi.org/10.2307/621408
Hashimi, N. H., Nigam, R., Nair, R. R., & Rajagopalan, G. (1995). Holocene sea level fluctuations on western Indian continental margin: an update. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 46, 157–162.
Hegde, V. S., Shalini, G., & Kanchanagouri, D. G. (2006). Provenance of heavy minerals with special reference to ilmenite of the Honnavar beach, central west coast of India. Current Science (00113891), 91(5).
Hentry, C., Chandrasekar, N., & Saravanan, S. (2012). Beach dynamics of Colachel open coast, Kanyakumari district (SW India). Zeitschrift Für Geomorphologie, 57(1), 75–95.
Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2005). Introduction to SPSS. In Psychology with for release 10, 11, 12 &13. Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, England, p. 473.
Hutchison, C. S. (1974). Laboratory handbook of petrographic techniques. Wiley-Interscience.
Iyer, S. D., & Gujar, A. R. (2014). Coastal placer minerals. Science Reporter, 51, 42–46.
Iyer, S. D., Gujar, A. R., Kumar, V. S., Naik, D. K., Gaonkar, S. S., Naik, S., et al. (2021). Sedimentological responses to coastal dynamics along the Thane District, North Maharashtra, West Coast of India. Sustainable Water Resources Management, 7(3), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40899-021-00518-8
Iyer, S. D., & Wagle, B. G. (1987). Morphometric analysis of the river basins in Goa. Geographical Review of India, 49, 11–18.
Iyer, S. D., Wagle, B. G., & D’Cruz, E. E. (1989). Statistical analysis of lineaments of Goa. Current Science, 58, 1316–1319.
Jagannadha Rao, K., Subramanyam, A. V., Kumar, A., & Sunil, T. C. (2008). Discovery of heavy mineral rich sand dune along Orissa-Bengal coast of India, using remote sensing techniques. Current Science, 94, 983–985.
Jayakumar, S., Raju, N. S. N., Gowthaman, R. (2004). Beach dynamics of an open coast on the west coast of India. In 3rd Indian national conference on harbour and ocean engineering (pp. 9–16). NIO, Goa.
JCPDS (1981). Power diffraction File, inorganic phase, alphabetical index, chemical and mineral names. International Centre for Diffraction Data.
Kalyani, N., Gladwin, G. A., & Patterson, E. (2019). Accumulation and replenishment of heavy minerals in the beach sediments of Tuticorin District, Southern Tamil Nadu Coast. Journal of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, 7, 64–72.
Kankara, R. S., Ramana Murthy, M. V., & Rajeevan, M. (2018). National Assessment of Shoreline changes along Indian Coast-a status report for 1990–2016. National Centre for Coastal Research, Chennai, India.
Karlekar, S. N. (2015). Beach response to natural head land on South Konkan and Goa coast. Transactions, Institution of Indian Geographers, 37, 201–209.
Kidwai, R. M., & Wagle, B. G. (1975). Mineralogy of beach and dune sands of Morjim-Arambol beach on Goa coast. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, 4, 128–130.
Komar, P. D. (2007). The entrainment, transport and sorting of heavy minerals by waves and currents. Developments in Sedimentology, 58, 3–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0070-4571(07)58001-5
Komar, P. D., & Wang, C. (1984). Processes of selective grain transport and the formation of placers on beaches. The Journal of Geology, 92(6), 637–655. https://doi.org/10.1086/628903
Krishna, K. M., Reddy, K. S. N., Sekhar, C. R., Naidu, K. B., Rao, P. G., & Reddy, G. V. R. (2016). Heavy mineral studies on late quaternary red sediments of Bhimunipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, East coast of India. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 88(5), 637–647. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-016-0530-6
Kumar, V. K., Murty, C. S., Shenoi, S. S. C., & Heblekar, A. K. (1989). Wave refraction and longshore current patterns along Calangute Beach (Goa), west coast of India. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, 18, 184–188.
Mallik, T. K., Vasudevan, V., Verghese, P. A., & Machado, T. (1987). The black sand placer deposits of Kerala beach, southwest India. Marine Geology, 77(1–2), 129–150. https://doi.org/10.1016/0025-3227(87)90088-0
Mörner, N. A. (2017). Coastal morphology and sea-level changes in Goa, India during the last 500 years. Journal of Coastal Research, 33(2), 421–434. https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16A-00015.1
Mukhopadhyay, R., & Karisiddaiah, S. M. (2014). The Indian coastline: processes and landforms. Landscapes and landforms of India (pp. 91–101). Dordrecht: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8029-2_8
Nallusamy, B., Babu, S., & Babu, D. S. (2013). Heavy mineral distribution and characterisation of ilmenite of Kayamkulam—thothapally Barrier Island, southwest coast of India. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 81(1), 129–140. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-013-0012-z
Nambiar, A. R., & Unnikrishnan, E. (1989). Distribution and origin of heavy minerals in the recent shelf sediments off Trivandrum-Muttam coast and adjacent beaches, south west India. Visesa Prakasana-Bharatiya Bhuvaijñanika Sarveksana, 24, 247–255.
Nayak, B., Mohapatra, R. K., Mangaraj, M., Venkatesh, A. S., & Behera, P. N. (2019). Mineralogical characterisation of beach placers at Kantiaghar in Ganjam district, Odisha. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 93(2), 194–198. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-019-1150-8
Nayak, G. N. (1997). Grain size parameters and heavy mineral as indication of depositional environment – a case study of beach sediments from Goa. Journal of the Indian Association of Sedimentologists, 16, 127–139.
Nigam, R. (2006). Formanifera as an additional tool for archaeology – example from Arabian Sea. In A. S. Gaur, & K. H. Vora (Eds.), Glimpses of marine archaeology. Dona Paula, Goa: Society for Marine Archaeology, NIO. (pp. 94–99).
Patil, N. (2007). Sedimentological and Mineralogical investigations along Vagator beach, North Goa, India. Unpubl. M.Sc. dissertation of Pune University, p. 105.
Pradhan, A. (2016). State of India’s rivers. For India Rivers week, Sandrop files. World Press.com, p. 23.
Rajasekaran, C., Kumar, S. J., Gowthaman, R., Jishad, M., Yadhunath, E. M., & Pednekar, P. S. (2014). Sand spit and shoreline dynamics near Terekhol River mouth, Goa, India. Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences, 43, 1311–1315.
Rajmanickam, G. V. (1983). Geological investigation of offshore heavy mineral placers of Konkan coast, Maharashtra. Unpubl PhD Thesis, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India, p. 258.
Ramdohr, P. (1980). The ore minerals and their intergrowths (Vol. 1 and 2, p. 1202). Frankfurt: Pergamon Press.
Ravi, G. S., Rao, R. G., & Rao, A. Y. (2001). Coastal heavy mineral sand deposits of Andhra Pradesh. Exploration & Research for Atomic Minerals, 13, 53–85.
Sakhawala, M. V., & Shringarpure, D. M. (1988). The black sand placer deposits of Piram Island, Gulf of Cambay, Gujarat. In M.S. Patel (Ed.) Proceedings of National Seminar of Recent Quaternary Studies in India, pp. 421–426.
Sanil Kumar, V. S., Kumar, K. A., & Anand, N. M. (2000). Characteristics of waves off Goa, west coast of India. Journal of Coastal Research, 16, 782–789.
Sanil Kumar, V., Philip, S., & Nair, T. B. (2010). Waves in shallow waters off west coast of India during onset of summer monsoon. Annual Review of Geophysics, 28, 817–824.
Shalini, G., Hegde, V. S., Soumya, M., & Korkoppa, M. M. (2020). Provenance and Implications of heavy minerals in the beach sands of India’s Central West Coast. Journal of Coastal Research, 36(2), 353–361. https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-19-00046.1
Siddiquie, H. N., Rajamanickam, G. V., Gujar, A. R., & Ramana, M. V. (1982). Geological and geophysical exploration for offshore ilmenite placers off the Konkan coast, Maharashtra, India. In Offshore Technology Conference. Offshore Technology Conference. pp. 749–762. https://doi.org/10.4043/4296-MS
Singh, R., Venkatesh, A. S., Sudhakar, C., Sethy, S. N., & Babu, K. P. (2020). Exploration for strategic placer mineral deposits in a fluctuating shoreline: depositional environment and mineralogical characterization of the NE Odisha coast placers, India. Ore Geology Reviews, 127, 103850. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oregeorev.2020.103850
Sreenivasa, A., Jayasheela, H. M., Bejugam, P., & Gujar, A. R. (2014). Heavy mineral studies of beach sands of Vagathor, North Goa, India. International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER), 4, 70–78.
Sutherland, D. G. (1985). Geomorphological controls on the distribution of placer deposits. Journal of the Geological Society, 142(5), 727–737. https://doi.org/10.1144/gsjgs.142.5.0727
Veerayya, M. (1993). Spatial and temporal variations of carbonate content in the beach and nearshore environments off Goa, west coast of India. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, 22, 48–53.
Veerayya, M., Murty, C. S., & Varadachari, V. V. R. (1981). Wave refraction and littoral currents off Colva beach, Goa. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, 10, 1–9.
Veerayya, M., & Varadachari, V. V. R. (1975). Depositional environments of coastal sediments of Calangute, Goa. Sedimentary Geology, 14(1), 63–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/0037-0738(75)90017-2
Vinoth Kumar, K. C., & Asaithambhi, T. (2013). Seasonal variations of mineral assemblage along West coast of Kanyakumari district. Indian Journal of Advances in Chemical Sciences, 2, 71–77.
Wagle, B. G. (1993). Geomorphology of Goa and Goa coast: a review. Giornale Di Geologia, 3, 19–24.
Widdowson, M. (2009). Evolution of laterite in Goa. Natural Resources of Goa: A geological perspective, 35–68.
Widdowson, M., Pringle, M. S., & Fernandez, O. A. (2000). A post K-T boundary (Early Palaeocene) age for Deccan-type feeder dykes, Goa, India. Journal of Petrology, 41(7), 1177–1194. https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/41.7.1177
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.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Communicated by Maria Virginia Alves Martins
About this article
Cite this article
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
- Littoral placers
- Resource estimation