The Importance Of Regolith In West Africa

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Although the regolith represents an important economic resource (Wright et al., 1985; Taylor and Eggleton, 2001), it also acts as a hindrance to exploration for mineral deposits under cover (Anand, 2016; Salama et al., 2016) and geological mapping in general. The term regolith refers to all of the weathered and/or unconsolidated material from basement rock to earth surface including interbedded fresh rocks (Taylor and Eggleton, 2001). Tardy (1997) estimates that nearly one third of the area of all continents is covered by regolith resulting from lateritic weathering.
Except in regions where rocks are exposed without major interruption, a knowledge of the distribution of regolith units and understanding the processes that led to their formation is important for any kind of successful geological mapping, geochemical or geophysical survey, or mineral exploration campaign. At most scales, West Africa remains poorly covered by regolith landform maps such as those commonly used in Australia
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Martelet et al. (2006) used Agglomerative Hierarchical Clustering algorithm to classify airborne gamma-ray spectrometry data in French Guyana and noticed that ferralitic and bauxitic duricrusts display elevated U, Th content relative to K. In West Africa, Grimaud et al. (2015) used the Th/K ratio images to map the extent of the High glacis regolith surface. Regolith landform-maps were derived from gamma-ray spectrometry data by Wilford et al. (1997) and Wilford et al. (2007). Gamma ray spectrometry was one of the parameters used during continental-scale regolith depth estimation (Wilford et al.,

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