Evaluation of geological structures and geothermal resources in the North Tanzania Volcanic area using remote sensing and gravity data analysis

Keywords: Remote sensing, gravity, geothermal, Tanzania, Structures, Isotope


Problems Statement and Purpose. Northern Tanzania Volcanic terrain has been a subject of evaluation for geothermal potential in the last four decades. The region is characterized by Neogene to Recent volcanic and tectonic activities. This preliminary study based on remote sensing, water chemistry, gravity data, geological structures and volcanic centers distribution reports the geothermal manifestations identified and discusses the implications on geothermal fluid pathways. Oxygen-hydrogen isotope data from water samples indicate that there were involved in the hydrothermal system.

Tectono-Volcanic Structures. The Northern Tanzania Divergence (NTD) area characterized by Neogene to Recent volcanic and tectonic activities. Recent volcanic and tectonic activities are ash cone and lava dome eruption at the floor of Meru crater a century ago, dyke intrusion and volcanic eruption south of Gelai volcano, and Oldoinyo-Lengai volcano, respectively. Fumarolic activities and hot springs are dominant in a relatively young volcanic area to the north-eastern and northern part of the NTD.

Data and Methods. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) image, water isotope analysis and gravity data were used to extract and analyze the surface and subsurface geological lineaments and map the hydrothermal alteration zones in the study area. The hydrothermal alteration is used to evaluate and identify the permeable structures. Analysis and interpretation of the length and trends of extracted lineaments were used to investigate the tectonic evolution. Geological map of a study area was digitized from the existing geological maps and the age of rocks to delineate volcanic activity and associated lineaments based on the age of the lithological domain. Digital image processing was applied to enhance the visual interpretation. Gravity data were used to give insight into the subsurface structure in the study area.

Results and Discussion. The higher δ 18O values and large deviation from meteoric water lines suggest that is due to the interaction of fluids with host rocks at elevated temperatures. These are consistent with open structures that act as conduits for fluid flow. The potential field gravity data reveal a basin-like structure trending in the NNW direction. The gravity data show that the basement units gradually deepen towards the central part and that it is controlled by two main fault systems that trend N-S and NW-SE respectively. The gravity data presented here provides new constraints on the tectonic evolution and geothermal resources of the study area.


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Author Biographies

Albano Mahecha, Kyushu University, Tanzania Geothermal Development Company Limited

Department of Corporative Program for Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Nureddin Saadi, University of Tripoli

Department of Geological Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Essam Aboud, King Abdulaziz University, National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics

Geohazards Research Center

Akira Imai, Kyushu University

Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Kotaro Yonezu, Kyushu University

Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering


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How to Cite
Mahecha, A., Saadi, N., Aboud, E., Imai, A., & Yonezu, K. (2023). Evaluation of geological structures and geothermal resources in the North Tanzania Volcanic area using remote sensing and gravity data analysis. Visnyk of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Series "Geology. Geography. Ecology", (59), 28-43. https://doi.org/10.26565/2410-7360-2023-59-03