Detection of hydrothermal mineralized zones associated with listwaenites in Central Oman using ASTER data

Sankaran Rajendran*, Sobhi Nasir, Timothy M. Kusky, Abduwasit Ghulam, Safwat Gabr, Mohamed A.K. El-Ghali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Listwaenites are highly altered ultramafic rocks that are potentially associated with economic mineralization and research on these is extremely important worldwide. In the present study, the classification of mineralized listwaenites developed along the serpentinite-amphibolite interface of the Semail Ophiolite, its associated lithology and the zones of alteration and mineralization in the Fanjah Saddle of the Central Oman Mountains region of the Sultanate of Oman are carried out, using Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite data. The developed band ratioing, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) supervised classification and image processing techniques applied on the ASTER data set have proved their capability for better interpretation and identification of hydrothermally altered rocks and associated mineralization. The hyperspectral tools (Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF), Pixel Purity Index (PPI) and nD-visualizer) extracted end member spectra and SAM classification clearly show the occurrence of minerals and their spatial distributions. The promising results are verified and confirmed in the field by identification of alteration and mineralization such as listwaenites, silicification, serpentinization and talc alteration and are validated further through laboratory analysis. The confirmation of the occurrence of base metal mineralization along the serpentinite-amphibolite interface in listwaenites suggests that detailed investigation in this and other arid regions which have similar geological conditions may locate mineral deposits. The hyperspectral tools applied on ASTER satellite data show that these can be used as a powerful tool to explore the listwaenites and the potential associated mineralization in other arid geographical regions worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-488
Number of pages19
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • Hydrothermal mineralized zone
  • Listwaenites
  • Oman
  • Semail Ophiolite
  • Spectral Angle Mapper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Economic Geology


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