Shear-Related Gold Ores in the Wadi Hodein Shear Belt, South Eastern Desert of Egypt : Analysis of Remote Sensing, Field and Structural Data

Space-borne multispectral and radar data were used to comprehensively map geologi- cal contacts, lithologies and structural elements controlling gold-bearing quartz veins in the Wadi Hodein area in Egypt. In this study, enhancement algorithms, band combinations, band math (BM), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), decorrelation stretch and mineralogical indices were applied to Landsat-8 OLI, ASTER and ALOS PALSAR following a pre-designed flow chart. Together with the field observations, the results of the image processing techniques were exported to the GIS environment and subsequently fused to generate a potentiality map. The Wadi Hodein shear belt is a ductile shear corridor developed in response to non-coaxial convergence and northward escape tectonics that accompanied the final stages of terrane accretion and cratonization (~680–600 Ma) in the northern part of the Arabian–Nubian Shield. The evolution of this shear belt encompassed a protracted ~E–W shortening and recurrent sinistral transpression as manifested by east-dipping thrusts and high-angle reverse shear zones. Gold-mineralized shear zones cut heterogeneously de- formed ophiolites and metavolcaniclastic rocks and attenuate in and around granodioritic intrusions. The gold mineralization event was evidently epigenetic in the metamorphic rocks and was likely attributed to rejuvenated tectonism and circulation of hot fluids during transpressional deformation. The superposition of the NW–SE folds by NNW-trending, kilometer scale tight and reclined folds shaped the overall framework of the Wadi Hodein belt. Shallow NNW- or SSE-plunging mineral and stretching lineations on steeply dipping shear planes depict a considerable simple shear component. The results of image processing complying with field observations and structural analysis suggest that the coincidence of shear zones, hydrothermal alteration and crosscutting dikes in the study area could be considered as a model criterion in exploration for new gold targets.


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