Remote sensing based approach for mapping of CO2 sequestered regions in Samail ophiolite massifs of the Sultanate of Oman

Sankaran Rajendran*, Sobhi Nasir, Timothy M. Kusky, Salah al-Khirbash

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Documentation of chemical weathering and CO2 sequestration in the Samail ophiolite massifs of the Sultanate of Oman represents an important case study for Geological Carbon Capture and Storage System (GCCSS). The present research study demonstrates the capability of remote sensing technique for mapping of weathered zones and potential CO2 sequestration area abundances at different scales within peridotites in the northern mountain region of the Samail ophiolite massifs. The carbonate mineral index (CI) applied with other mineral indices to the TIR wavelength region of Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) TIR spectral bands 13 and 14 mapped CO2 sequestered minerals along the structural- and wadi-controlled CO2 flowing regions. Peridotites, the source rocks of CO2 sequestration in the study area, were mapped using an ASTER 8, 3 and 1 band combinations. The decorrelated Landsat TM image discriminated the rock types associated with peridotites of ophiolite sequences and delineated the region of weathered and altered serpentinized peridotites in the zone of CO2 sequestration. CO2 sequestration mapping was carried out using Landsat TM satellite data that span 20years (1986, 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006) to assess the present status of CO2 sequestration in this region. The image interpretations are verified with existing geological maps and through field and laboratory studies. The spectral measurements of carbonate minerals at 1300 to 2500nm with the spectral resolution of ~7nm using a PIMA SP infrared spectrometer in the field and laboratory show the presence of hydroxyl-bearing minerals and carbonates that have spectral absorption features around 1.4μm, 1.9μm and 2.35μm. The strong absorptions around 2.35μm are mainly due to CO bonds in carbonate minerals such as calcite (CaCO3), dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2), magnesite (MgCO3), aragonite (CaCO3) and siderite (FeCO3), which form 15 to 57%, 12 to 53%, 9 to 38%, 11 to 21% and 3 to 8% respectively in the samples. The absorptions around 1.4μm and 1.9μm are caused by hydration effects of hydroxyl minerals including antigorite and montmorillonite present at 10 to 21% and 37 to 81% respectively in the samples. The alterations of serpentinite are evidenced by the presence of antigorite and lizardite minerals. X-ray powder diffraction analyses further confirms the occurrence of CO2 sequestered major carbonate minerals such as aragonite, calcite and dolomite in the samples. The study demonstrates that the ASTER and Landsat TM satellite multispectral sensors are useful to detect the carbonate minerals, to delineate the peridotites and to discriminate the areal abundance of potential CO2 sequestration. This technique is a useful tool to map and monitor the region of CO2 sequestration in well exposed arid and semi-arid regions and to analyze and understand this aspect of the world geological carbon capture and storage system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-140
Number of pages19
JournalEarth-Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Oman
  • Remote sensing
  • Samail ophiolite massifs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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