A Petrographic and Geotechnical Study of the Sandstone of the Fundudzi Formation, Lake Fundudzi, South Africa

  • Sibonakaliso G. ChilizaEmail author
  • Egerton D. C. Hingston
Conference paper


The Fundudzi Formation is one of five formations of the Soutpansberg Group, which consists essentially of reddish, arenaceous and minor argillaceous deposits. Little is known about the sandstone of the Fundudzi Formation apart from a massive rockslide event that occurred in the Soutpansberg Mountains approximately twenty thousand years ago, which blocked the course of the eastern flowing Mutale River forming Lake Fundudzi, the only true inland lake in South Africa. A study of the petrographic and geotechnical properties of selected samples of sandstones of the Fundudzi Formation has been undertaken in order to contribute to the geotechnical knowledge of this material. Detailed petrographic analysis has been undertaken by analyzing thin sections of selected samples of the sandstone obtained in close proximity to Lake Fundudzi. The geotechnical tests conducted include Schmidt hammer rebound test, point load test, Brazilian strength test and uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) test on representative samples of the sandstone. Based on a detailed petrographic analysis, the sandstone can best be described as quartzitic sandstone. The correlated UCS values derived from Schmidt hammer tests, point load corrected size index strength and UCS values from direct testing of the quartzitic sandstone show that the material classifies as medium to very high strength. The mineralogy, grain size, deformation, grain to grain contact (almost interlocking due to recrystallization) and silica cement were found to significantly affect the strength of Fundudzi Formation sandstone.


Lake Fundudzi Petrographic analysis Geotechnical properties Quartzitic sandstone 



Many thanks are also due to Council for Geoscience (CGS) for funding and supporting this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sibonakaliso G. Chiliza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Egerton D. C. Hingston
    • 2
  1. 1.Council for GeoscienceSilvertonSouth Africa
  2. 2.College of Agriculture, Engineering and ScienceUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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