Geochemical mapping of carbonate sediments in the Makgadikgadi basin, Botswana using moderate resolution remote sensing data
White, K. and Eckardt, F. (2006) Geochemical mapping of carbonate sediments in the Makgadikgadi basin, Botswana using moderate resolution remote sensing data. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 31 (6). pp. 665-681. ISSN 0197-9337
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/esp.1289
This paper maps the carbonate geochemistry of the Makgadikgadi Pans region of northern Botswana from moderate resolution (500 m pixels) remotely sensed data, to assess the impact of various geomorphological processes on surficial carbonate distribution. Previous palaeo-environmental studies have demonstrated that the pans have experienced several highstands during the Quaternary, forming calcretes around shoreline embayments. The pans are also a significant regional source of dust, and some workers have suggested that surficial carbonate distributions may be controlled, in part, by wind regime. Field studies of carbonate deposits in the region have also highlighted the importance of fluvial and groundwater processes in calcrete formation. However, due to the large area involved and problems of accessibility, the carbonate distribution across the entire Makgadikgadi basin remains poorly understood. The MODIS instrument permits mapping of carbonate distribution over large areas; comparison with estimates from Landsat Thematic Mapper data show reasonable agreement, and there is good agreement with estimates from laboratory analysis of field samples. The results suggest that palaeo-lake highstands, reconstructed here using the SRTM 3 arc-second digital elevation model, have left behind surficial carbonate deposits, which can be mapped by the MODIS instrument. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.