Prospectivity of Economic Heavy Minerals from El Manzala Lake Bottom Sediments, North Nile Delta, Egypt
Keywords:saline lake, ground-water, marine sea water, drainage, sediments, mineralogical
El Manzala Lake is considered as the biggest coastal saline lake in Egypt. The lake receives fluvial, ground-water and marine sea water. It also receives huge amounts of drainage water from five main drains namely; Bahr El Bakar, Ramsis, Hadous, El Tawil, El Serw and Faraskour and receives little amounts of fresh water from Souffra, Ratma and Inaniya canals. The bottom sediments of El Manzala
Lake are mainly composed of two fractions of different grain size; the first consists mainly of sand and found exclusively in the northern part of the lake, and the second is mainly made up of silt and clay, and predominant in the southern part. The mineralogical investigation that was carried on these sediments led to the identification of considerable number of minerals that are concentered in the northern part (up to 2.7%), they are of economic importance and were classified into two categories namely opaque and non-opaque minerals. The most important opaque minerals are ilmenite, magnetite, leucoxene, chromite and pyrite. The most abundant opaque mineral in both of northern and southern part of the lake is ilmenite and followed by magnetite. While the non-opaque minerals are represented by rutile, zircon, monazite and garnet with few concentrations of titanite, apatite and gahnite. The most abundant non-opaque mineral in the northern and southern part of the lake is rutile. The variation in their shapes and habits indicates that they were inhered from different sources. The distribution and abundance of the recorded economic heavy minerals are controlled by the grain size of the sediments and the depth of water in the lake, where the majority of the identified minerals are
concentrated in the fine sand-sized fraction in the northern part. The potential source of economic heavy minerals is the northern part of the lake are extended from the shore of Mediterranean Sea from the north to the drains of Bahr El Bakar and Faraskour in the east and west respectively.
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