ASTER detection of chromite bearing mineralized zones in Semail Ophiolite Massifs of the northern Oman Mountains: Exploration strategy

Sankaran Rajendran, Salah al-Khirbash, Bernhard Pracejus, Sobhi Nasir, Amani Humaid Al-Abri, Timothy M. Kusky, Abduwasit Ghulam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)


Economically viable chromite deposit occurrences are widespread in the ultramafic rocks of Semail ophiolite massifs of the northern Oman Mountains, particularly in the basal dunite and harzburgite unit of the mantle section. Geological mapping of this region is challenging, primarily due to difficult access, complexity of structures, and lack of resolution and areal integrity of lithological differentiation using conventional mapping techniques. The present research study evaluates the discrimination and occurrence of chromites bearing mineralized zones within ophiolites by analyzing the capabilities of Landsat TM and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite data; using a number of selected methods including decorrelated stretching, different band rationing and Principal Component Analysis image processing techniques exist in the scientific literature. The study results show that the processed VNIR and SWIR spectral wavelength regions are promising in detecting the areas of potential chromite bearing mineralized zones within the ophiolite region, and proved to be successful for mapping of serpentinized harzburgite containing chromites. Exploration geologists, industrialists and mine owners are advised to adopt this technique and avoid the limits in filed data alone for more exploration and exploitation of areas having chromite deposits in arid region elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-135
Number of pages15
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012



  • Chromites
  • Harzburgite
  • Mineralized zone
  • Oman
  • Ophiolite
  • Remote sensing
  • Semail massifs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economic Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology

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