GOLD MINERAL PROSPECTING USING PHASED ARRAY TYPE L-BAND SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR (PALSAR) SATELLITE REMOTE SENSING DATA, CENTRAL GOLD BELT, MALAYSIA
- Geoscience and Digital Earth Centre (Geo-DEC), Research Institute for Sustainability and Environment (RISE), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 UTM Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Keywords: Gold prospecting, PALSAR, Bentong-Raub Suture Zone, Peninsular Malaysia, tropical environments
Abstract. The Bentong-Raub Suture Zone (BRSZ) of Peninsular Malaysia is one of the significant structural zones in Sundaland, Southeast Asia. It forms the boundary between the Gondwana-derived Sibumasu terrane in the west and Sukhothai arc in the east. The BRSZ is also genetically related to the sediment-hosted/orogenic gold deposits associated with the major lineaments and form-lines in the central gold belt Central Gold Belt of Peninsular Malaysia. In tropical environments, heavy tropical rainforest and intense weathering makes it impossible to map geological structures over long distances. Advances in remote sensing technology allow the application of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data in geological structural analysis for tropical environments. In this investigation, the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) satellite remote sensing data were used to analyse major geological structures in Peninsular Malaysia and provide detailed characterization of lineaments and form-lines in the BRSZ, as well as its implication for sediment-hosted/orogenic gold exploration in tropical environments. The major geological structure directions of the BRSZ are N-S, NNE-SSW, NE-SW and NW-SE, which derived from directional filtering analysis to PALSAR data. The pervasive array of N-S faults in the study area and surrounding terrain is mainly linked to the N-S trending of the Suture Zone. N-S striking lineaments are often cut by younger NE-SW and NW-SE-trending lineaments. Gold mineralized trends lineaments are associated with the intersection of N-S, NE-SW, NNW-SSE and ESE-WNW faults and curvilinear features in shearing and alteration zones. Lineament analysis on PALSAR satellite remote sensing data is a useful tool for detecting the boundary between the Gondwana-derived terranes and major geological features associated with suture zone especially for large inaccessible regions in tropical environments.