Journal of Geographic Information System, 2010, 2, 177-184
doi:10.4236/jgis.2010.23025 Published Online July 2010 (
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JGIS
Geospatial Mapping of Singhbhum Shear Zone (SSZ)
with Respect to Mineral Prospecting
Bijay Singh, Jimly Dowerah
University Department of Geology, R anchi University , Ranchi, India
Received January 19, 2010; revised February 25, 2010; accepted March 2, 2010
Singhbhum Shear Zone is a highly mineralized zone having variety of minerals, predominantly those of ura-
nium, copper and some sulphide minerals. From Remote Sensing data it is possible to decipher the regional
lithology, tectonic fabric and also the geomorphic details of a terrain which aid precisely in targeting of met-
als and minerals. Mapping of mineralized zones can be done using Geospatial Technology in a GIS platform.
The present study includes creation of various maps like lithological map, geomorphological map, contours
and slope map using satellite data like IRS LISS-IV and ASTER DEM which can be used to interprete and
correlate the various mineral prospective zones in the study area. Even the alterations of the prevalent min-
eral zones can be mapped for further utilization strategies. The present work is based on the investigations
being carried under ISRO-SAC Respond Project (Dept. of Space, Govt. of India SAC Code: OGP62, ISRO
Code: 10/4/556).
Keywords: Singhbhum Shear Zone, Geospatial Mapping, Mineral Prospecting, Alterations, Sulphide Ores
1. Introduction
Mineral Exploration is not only highly imaginative and
creative but a very costly activity as well. Much informa-
tion about potential areas for mineral exploration can be
provided by interpretation of surface features on aerial
photographs and satellite images (Lilesand et al, 2007).
From Remote Sensing data it is possible to decipher the
regional lithology, tectonic fabric and also the geomorp-
hic details of a terrain which aid precisely in targeting of
metals and minerals. Usage of Geospatial Technology has
enhanced the study of mineral exploration as geological
maps can be easily integrated with other important de-
tails like geomorphology, structure, geophysical data etc.
Multispectral image analysis technique in the field of
Geologic remote sensing has proved to be a potential tec-
hnique for the information extraction process. Number of
image analysis techniques are evolved and applied for
optimization of information extraction process.
SSZ represents one of the most spectacular tectonic fe-
atures is occurring in the Singhbhum Craton spread over
Jharkhand and adjoining areas, marks the boundary bet-
ween the two Archaean Cratons of Singhbhum Granite
Batholith and the Iron Ore Group and the Proterozoic Mo-
bile Belt in the north. SSZ is an arcuate belt of 200 km
length and width varying between 1-25 kms. It is one of
the most well known mineral abundan t zones in the cou-
ntry and extensive mineral exploration has been carried
out in this zone since a long time. The Central Indian
Suture or the Satpura Mobile Belt continues across the
Mahanadi fault to form the Northern Boundary of the Si-
nghbhum craton. The mobile belt bends around the cra-
ton to merge with the Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt in the
south. The latter overthrusts th e Singhbhum craton at the
Sukhinda thrust.
The study area falls in the SSZ and is extended be-
tween Tatanagar (22° 50' N: 86° 10' E) and Bahragora
(22° 16' N: 86° 43' E) in the south east falling mostly in
the Survey of India Toposheet no. J/2, 6, 7, 10 and 11,
confined in th e East Singhbhum of Jhark hand (Figure 1).
The present work involves geospatial mapping of the
study area on a GIS platform by interpreting multispect-
ral satellite imagery.
2. Geological Setting
SSZ is a unique arcuate structure extending from Bahr-
agora in east to Porahat in west. At the extreme west end
it grades into high angle fault and extends upto the west-
ern margin of Bonai granite. Satellite imagery study sho-
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JGIS
ws that beyond Bahragora in east, the arcuate southern
continuation of the shear zone extends through Mayurb-
hanj to Sukinda thrust (Ramakrishnan and Vaidyanathan,
2008). The shear zone is characterized by extreme duc-
tile shearing, multiple metasomatism, migmatisation and
prominent mineralization of copper, uranium, tungsten
and phosphate. The bulk of the shear zone material is
made up of pelites and volcanic clastics, probably gener-
ated during the Dhanjori and Koira depositional cycles.
The shear zone is also characterized by abundance of
ultramafic intrusions such as hornblende schists, talc
schists, serpentinite and synkinematic body of serpen-
tinised lherzolite with pyroxinite relics. The deforma-
tional history of this shear zone is highly complex
marked by repeated phases of folding , mylonitisatio n an d
rotation of fabric (Figure 2).
East Singhbhum
Figure 1. Location map.
Figure 2. Geological map of Singhbhum shear zone (source:
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JGIS
3. Materials and Methods
Data used: (see Table 1)
3) Survey of India Toposheets
Software used:
2) Arc GIS 9.3
The methodology used in the present study in shown
in the following Flow Figure 3.
Table 1. Specifications of LISS IV.
Ground Resolution 5.8 m
Steerability Yes
Swath 23.5 km (MX),70 km (MONO)
Spectral Bands B2(green, 520-570 nm),
B3(red, 630-700 nm),
B4(NIR, 700 nm -1400 nm)
Radiometric Resolution(Bits)7 bits selected out of 10
IGFOV 5.8 m
SNR@Saturation >128
SWR@Nyquist >20 all bands
Off Nadir Viewing +/–26°
1:50,000 Scale
Imag e Processing Contour Extraction
Visual Interpretation & Digitization
Water body
Lithology Map, Geomorphology Map, Lineament Map, Slope Map, Existing Mineral Map
GIS database
Data Interpretation
Upd ated Mineral Po tential Map
Figure 3. Flowchart showing methodology.
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JGIS
4. Generation of Maps
The capability of GIS to manipu late classified spatial in-
formation through amalgamated layers makes it a uniqu e
tool for delineating potential locales. Flexibility of exp-
erimenting with spatial data followed by visualization of
its effect immediately gives GIS a cutting edge over ot-
her contemporary techniques for modeling mineral de-
posits. For the preparation of GIS map, the data sets are
grouped into polygon, line and point features depending
upon the geographic distribution. The areas having aerial
extent are taken as polygon layers; line features are digi-
tized as line coverages.
In the present study, apart from the base map of the st-
udy area, Drainage map was prepared with the help of
the LISS IV data (Figure 4). The contour lines at 50 m
intervals were extracted from the ASTER DEM and the
slope map (Figure 7) of the area was generated from it.
The Geomorphological units were interpreted from the
LISS IV imagery after processing the imagery and then
with the help of the image interpretation keys like tone,
texture, pattern, association and by relating to the lithol-
ogy and height information of that particular area..
5. Geomorphology
Geomorphology serves as an excellent tool in economic
geological point of view and aim in search of mineral de-
posits, the topographic expression gives clue to the geo-
logic structure which is favourable for mineral deposits
and indirect inference of geomorphic details of an area. It
includes surface expression of the ore bodies like ridges,
plateaus or some elevated position, which are indicatio ns
of gossans and residual mineral occurring in weathering
surface. Geomorphology not only gives the pattern and
the spatial distribution of various landforms but also giv-
es information on the natural resource potential. Such
maps are graphic representation of landforms of an area.
For mineral exploration, the geomorphic features are im-
portant in prospecting; the deposits formed by residual
Figure 4. Drainage map of the study area.
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JGIS
and supergene enrichment can be indicated. (E.g. hill
slopes, ridges, plateaus and valleys etc) Alluvial plain,
denudational hill, intermontane valley, pediment-inselb-
erg complex, pediplain, pediment, undissected plateau,
residual hill, structural hill, valley fill, water body and
river sand make up the geomorphology of the study area.
Pediplain covers 49.51% i.e. the majority of the area
whereas least area is covered by undissected plateau
(0.28%). The Shear Zone is mainly covered by structural
hill with intermontane valley in between and pediment
and pediplain adjacent to it (Fi g ure 5).
6. Lithology
Lithological maps can be easily integrated with other im-
portant details like geomorphology, structure, etc. This
kind of data integration facilitates for the better identific-
ation of mineralized zones. The lithology of the study
area is made up of talc-chlorite schists, phyllite, granite,
quartzite, migmatite, mica-schist, laterite, hornblende sc-
hist, dolerite, epidiorite, gabbro anthracite, sandstone and
alluvium. Mica/ Hornblende Schist with Phyllite bands
occupy the largest area with 15.34% whereas sand/silt
dominant alluvium covers the least area with 0.36%.The
lithology in the Shear Zone is mainly of Quartzite and
Mica schist with phyllite adjacent to it (Figure 6).
7. DEM
DEM is created and the same is wrapped with digital
FCC data. It gives a 3D view (Figure 8) of the landscape
from which precise mapping can be interpreted perfectly.
DEM wrapped various thematic layers can be used to
prepare probable mineralized zones.
8. Identification of Potential Mineralized
Mineral Resource Potential Mapping is a very complex
analytical procedure which requires simultaneous consi-
deration of a number of spatial evidences-geological, ge-
omorphological, structural etc. In the present study, geo-
morphology and lithology has been mapped and obser-
vations have been made based on it. As quartzite domi-
nates the lithology of the Shear Zone, it can be said that
the area contains zircon, rutile as minerals. Zircon is
known to contain uranium and rutile is mainly composed
of titanium. Natural rutile also contains significant
amount of niobium and tantalum. The presence of phyl-
lite in the shear zone indicates quartz, sericite content.
Sericite is a common alteration mineral of orthoclase or
plagioclase feldspars in areas that have been subjected to
hydrothermal alteration typically associated with copper,
tin, or other hydrothermal ore deposits.
Figure 5. Geomorphological map of the study area.
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JGIS
Figure 6. Lithological map of study area,
Figure 7. Slope map of the study area.
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JGIS
Figure 8. 3D view of study area.
The probability of occurrence of minerals as men-
tioned above is based on the lithology and related geo-
morphology. Further studies based on alteration zone,
lineament mapping will make it more specific as linea-
ments can help to spot the location of mineral abundance
and so can alteration zones.
9. Summary and Conclusions
Geospatial Mapping for complex regions like Singhbh-
um Shear Zone is an important activity since it involves
a detailed information database through the satellite ba-
sed studies. These informations have to be generated for
an integrated regional development approach for this str-
ategic location. Presently the LISS-IV imagery has been
utilized to prepare an updated host of geological maps
like geomorphology, slope, drainage, base map. The dra-
inage pattern of the area provides clue about the bedrock
lithology, topography and the types of landform present.
In the present area, the drainage pattern is seen to be de-
ndritic. The delineation of geomorphological units sug-
gest that the landform class in the study region is that of
landform developed on folded strata whereas the adja-
cent areas have a fluvial landform (after landform classi-
fication by Rasher and Weaver, 1990). Due to a hostile
and inaccessible area these maps are highly useful for
further investigations and interpretations to be used by
the mining industries especially Uranium Corporation of
India Limited (UCIL), Indian Copper Complex (ICC) for
their optimum utilization and the Gov ernment and NGOs
to take advantage for their need based planning and pro-
grammes. The various geomorphological units and their
features are attempted to delineate the adjacent viable
mining areas and their potential estimation. The factors
responsible for contamination of the local water bodies
with the radiogenic environment and their side effects
are also being investigated on the basis of these maps.
10. Acknowledgements
The authors wish to acknowledge the Head of the Dept.
of Geology, Ranchi University for his support and moti-
vation. Dr. A. T. Jeyaseelan, Director, JSAC is sincerely
acknowledged for his kind permission to avail the lab
facilities at JSAC under his guidance. The Focal Person
of the ISRO-SAC RESPOND Proj ect ( SAC cod e: 0GP62,
ISRO code: 10/4/556) is also gratefully acknowledged
for his motivation and academic comments.
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