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International Journal of Geography and Geology

January 2020, Volume 9, 1, pp 13-37

Location Mapping of Hydrothermal Alteration Using Landsat 8 Data: A Case of Study in Prestea Huni Valley District, Ghana

Ibrahim Abdul Sulemana


Jonathan Quaye-Ballard


Clement Ntori


Alfred Awotwi


Oladunjoye Michael Adeyinka


Thomas Moore Okrah


Abena Asare-Ansah

Ibrahim Abdul Sulemana 1 ,

Jonathan Quaye-Ballard 2 Clement Ntori 1 Alfred Awotwi 4
Oladunjoye Michael Adeyinka 5
Thomas Moore Okrah 2 Abena Asare-Ansah 2 

  1. Pan African University Institute of Earth and Life Science Including Agriculture (PAULESI), University of Ibadan, Nigeria. 1

  2. Department of Geomatic Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. 2

  3. Department of Earth an Environmental science, University for Development Studies (UDS), Navrongo, Ghana. 4

  4. Department of Geology, University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan, Nigeria. 5

Pages: 13-37

DOI: 10.18488/journal.10.2020.91.13.37

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Article History:

Received: 30 October, 2019
Revised: 29 November, 2019
Accepted: 02 January, 2020
Published: 13 February, 2020


Utilization of multispectral satellite images is an excellent approach in the reconnaissance stage of gold prospecting due to its high effectiveness and low cost. This research used Landsat 8 Remote Sensing data and Geographical Information System to identify, delineate and map hydrothermal alteration zone relating to gold pattern mineralization in Prestea Huni Valley District in the Western Region of Ghana. Principle Component Analysis (PCA), three band combinations, spectral rationing and Crosta techniques are used in this study. For three band combinations, bands 5, 4, 3 and 5, 6, 7 are used to map location of hydrothermal alterations. Band ratios (7/5and6/7), (6/5) and (4/2) are used to identify presence of clay, ferrous and iron oxide minerals respectively. Sabin's ratio 4/2, 6/7 and 6/5, Kaufmann ratio 7/5, 5/4 and 6/7, and 4/2, 6/7 and 5 are used to identify vegetation, outcrop and hydrothermal alterations respectively. Crosta and PCA techniques were used to suppress the interference of vegetation in delineating the alteration zones. Results revealed that the three band combinations and spectral ratioing clearly depicts hydrothermal deposit of ferrous minerals, clay and iron oxide minerals. PCA identifies presence of iron-oxide and hydroxyl minerals as bright pixels. The first three high order principal components (PC1, PC2 and PC3) of input spectral bands gave more than 98% of the spectral information. Thus, the results from satellite images an effective and efficient way of mapping hydrothermal alteration zones at regional scale.
Contribution/ Originality
This is one of the very few studies which have investigated to identify hydrothermally alteration relating to gold mineralization. The study documents how Satellite data and Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System techniques can be used to delineate hydrothermal alterations at regional scale at a reduced cost.


Principle component analysis, PCA, Band Ratio, Hydrothermal alteration, Hydroxyl minerals, Mineralization, Ghana.



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This work was supported by the African Union Commission.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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