Analytical Signal and Reduction to Pole Interpretation of Total Magnetic Field Data at Eppawala Phosphate Deposit


A magnetic survey was carried out to find out the possibilities of demarcating a phosphate deposit from the surrounding country rocks. It is a well-established fact that the magnetic mapping can be utilised to investigate the subsurface objects, materials or different rock types based on their magnetic properties. Those rocks with ferro-magnetic minerals such as magnetite generate magnetic anomalies which in turn help to investigate the subsurface occurrence of mineral deposits. An economic phosphate deposit in Sri Lanka, known as Eppawala Phosphate deposit was selected for this study. The deposit was formed as an accumulation of secondary products of an apatite-rich carbonatite. Due to weathering of iron-rich carbonatite, magnetite and its derivatives are intimately bound with the said deposit. Therefore, the magnetic signature of the phosphate body is different to that of the surrounding country rocks. Despite some studies on different aspects of the deposit, subsurface extents of the ore body are so far not adequately studied. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify the boundaries of the phosphate body. The study was carried over an area of 12 km2 5 km north from the current mining site and survey was conducted. GSM-19 Overhouser system with integrated GPS was used to collect field data. Magnetic anomalies were plotted using a predefined grid. The maximum positive and negative anomalies encountered in the survey area are 690 nT and 829 nT respectively. This study showed that magnetite is not distributed evenly in the area and the deposit extended along the north south direction. Further, processing of analytical signal using the anomalies showed that the carbonatite occurs as a continuous body trending in North South direction. Low magnetic latitudes magnetic data interpretation is difficult because the vector nature of the magnetic field. Therefore, “reduction to pole” concept and “analytical signal concept” were used for the data analysis. Reduction to pole map and analytical signal map are comparatively similar and the change of declination value has no significant effect on the map of reduction to pole.

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Subasinghe, N. , Charles, W. and Silva, S. (2014) Analytical Signal and Reduction to Pole Interpretation of Total Magnetic Field Data at Eppawala Phosphate Deposit. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 2, 181-189. doi: 10.4236/gep.2014.23023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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