Defining the spectral characteristics of rocks within the Mambulu Complex, Natal Belt, South Africa.
Field and laboratory spectroscopy are sub-fields of remote sensing, where the radiometric data of materials are individually measured either where the materials occur in situ or in a controlled laboratory environment. Both applications require the use of a spectroradiometer to record this reflected electromagnetic radiation. The spectral properties of rocks from the Mambulu Complex in the Natal Belt have not been studied previously. Four dominant rock types, namely, massif-type anorthosite, leuco-gabbro, pyroxenite and magnetitite were sampled from the Mambulu Complex and their spectral reflectances measured. Absorption features were determined after continuum removal was applied to the spectra. Anorthosite showed absorption features at 480-490, 592, 603, 608, 627-726, 765, 1410, 1905-1955, 2200, 2250 and 2330nm. For leuco-gabbro absorption features were observed at 481, 950-1010, 1407, 1917, 2206, 2252, and 2300-2340nm. Magnetitite displayed absorption features at 414, 460-515, 620-715, 982, 1380-1480, 1800, 1905-1930 and 2145-2330nm. For medium-grained pyroxenite absorption features were present at 410-420, 483, 680, 977-993, 1410-1415, 1800, 1920, 2205, 2250, 2307, 2400 and 2430nm. Coarse-grained pyroxenite showed absorption features at 460-727, 979, 1000, 1401, 1422, 1800, 1913, 1930, 2203, 2258, 2321, 2388 and 2421nm. ANOVAs and Bonferroni tests were applied to the spectral data to calculate significant spectral differences and between which pairs of rocks these significant differences occurred. Results showed that there were significant spectral differences between all the rock types of the Mambulu Complex. The variability of spectral characteristics within rock species was attributed to the difference in composition of fresh and weathered surfaces; and the significant spectral differences between rock samples can be attributed primarily to differences in mineral composition.