Regional Interpretation of Aeromagnetic Data for Groundwater Exploration in Capricorn District, Limpopo, South Africa

Emmanuel Sakala, Abera Tessema, and Peter K. Nyabeze


Borehole yield, normalized difference vegetation index, digital elevation model, magnetic


The study area is located in the northern Limpopo Province of South Africa. The aim of the study was to identify groundwater targets that could assist in improving the quality of life of rural communities. Airborne magnetic data was interpreted in order to identify dykes, lineaments and magnetic sources that could control on groundwater occurrences. The length, parallelism of magnetic lineaments in some parts of the area suggests emplacement under tensional stress field along pre-existing zones of weakness. Lineaments extracted from the airborne magnetic data and satellite imagery data were superimposed on drainage lines in order to investigate the relative importance of structural features controlling the distribution of surface water and groundwater. In addition, normalized difference vegetation index was used in identify areas of vegetation banding which enable inference of fracture zones and high moisture content in the soil. The study shows that the northern and central eastern parts of the study area are more prospective for groundwater occurrence, while the southern and southwestern parts of the project area are dry with no surface manifestation of the of groundwater. Integration of lineaments derived from aeromagnetic data and Landsat imagery as well with the normalized difference vegetation index was able to identify areas with a potential for groundwater occurrence at a regional scale.

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