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Field characteristics, micro-morphology and GIS based evaluation of major element geochemistry of calcrete deposits of Vilathikulam and its surrounding villages, Thoothukudi District, Tamilnadu, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1PG Studies and Research Department of Geology, V.O. Chidambaram College, (MS University Tirunelveli), Tuticorin – 628008, India
  • 2PG Studies and Research Department of Geology, V.O. Chidambaram College, (MS University Tirunelveli), Tuticorin – 628008, India
  • 3Unidad de Process Oceánicos y Costeros, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Circuito Exterior s/n, 04510 Mexico D.F., Mexico
  • 4CSIR-National Geophysical and Research Institute, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500007, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 6, Issue (3), Pages 11-19, March,22 (2017)


Calcretes is impure carbonate deposit formed with in the vadose zone by pedogenic leaching or phreatic zone by evapotranspiration of groundwater under the arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. It occurs in some places as duricrust outcrop centered on Vilathikulam region, Thoothukudi district of Tamilnadu. The general stratigraphic succession of the area profile is cited. The spatial collection of calcrete samples from the outcrops of various landscape setting were carried out. The Micromorphological characters of calcrete are in the form of gravel, nodular, lumby, massive, hardpan and chalky nature. The Micromorphological illustration reveals the micritic or microsparitic calcite precipitation which makes rimming, peloidal or colloform, veining, displacive and replacive structures. Major element geochemical analysis of calcrete indicates that CaO, MgO, SiO2, Fe2O3 and Al2O3 are in elevated concentration (>1%), whereas MnO, Na2O, K2O, TiO2 and P2O5 are in low level concentration (<1%). The GIS based major element geochemical iso-quality spatial contour maps illustrate the distributional quality of the area which helps to demarcate the suitability of the mining site of calcrete. Further, major element geochemistry delineates the geochemical environmental of the study area.


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