Geographic information system (GIS) integration of geological, geochemical and geophysical data from the Aggeneys base metal province, South Africa

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Geographic Information System (GIS) technology aids in storage, manipulation, processing, analysis and presentation of spatial data sets. GIS can effectively interrogate large multidisciplinary exploration data sets in the search for new mineral exploitation targets. A spatial database, the AGGeneys Exploration Database (AGGED), has been created, comprising exploration data gathered during two decades of exploration for base-metals in the Aggeneys area, Bushmanland, South Africa. AGGED includes data extracted from analog maps, as well as digital remotely sensed sources, stored in vector and raster data structures, respectively. Vector data includes field based observations such as the extent of outcropping geological units, litho- and chrono-stratigraphic data; structural data; laboratory data based on regional geochemical stream sediment and traverse sampling; cadastral data and known mineral occurrences. Raster data includes Landsat satellite TM imagery and airborne magnetic data. Spatial variation within single data maps are examined. Spatial correlation between three different data maps are facilitated using colour analysis of hue, saturation and value components in a perceptual colour model. Simultaneously combining lead and zinc data with Landsat TM and geophysical magnetic data spatially delineates four new "geoscience" anomalies in the area under investigation. Two distinctive anomalies occur on the farms Aroams and Aggeneys. The Aroams anomaly (GSAl) has not been previously recognised, whereas the Aggeneys anomaly (GSA2) has been located before. The two other "geoscience" anomalies, on the farm Haramoep (GSA3 and GSA4 ), are slightly less distinct. Overlaying fold axial trace patterns and anomalies on the farm Haramoep, indicate that F2 and F3 fold structures are closely associated with these two anomalies. The location of the Aroams anomaly occurs along the same east-west trend of the four known major ore-deposits viz. Big Syncline, Broken Hill, Black Mountain and Gamsberg. Extrapolating F2 and F3 fold patterns using magnetic data locates this Aroams anomaly along the F3 axial trace extending from Big Syncline through to Gamsberg. The elevated Pb-Zn geochemical anomaly and structural data associated with the Aroams anomaly makes it a promising future exploitation target. The AGGED database can be expanded both in geographic extent to include surrounding areas, and to allow for inclusion of future surveys. Analytical processing of data in AGGED can also be continued and expanded. GIS is a burgeoning field and developments in GIS technology will impact on the explorationist. Developments in object-oriented and knowledge-based database technologies, visualisation techniques and artificial intelligence, incorporated in future GIS need to be closely monitored and evaluated by geoscience explorationists.