A quantitative study for hydrothermal alteration zones using short wavelength infrared spectrometry

Yong Hwi Kim, Seon Gyu Choi, Kwang Beom Ko, Kyeong Soo Han, Min Ho Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advanced argillic, argillic, and phyllic zones are the most important alteration patterns to predict the hidden ore body during exploration of hydrothermal deposits. We examined the quantitative relationship between the spectral absorption characteristics and the mineral content of the synthetic mixtures such as alunite-kaolinite and illitekaolinite using short wavelength infrared (SWIR) spectroscopy. In the alunite-kaolinite mixtures, the spectral absorption characteristics of the alunite was highly correlated with the Hull quotient reflectance(0.99) and the kaolinite had the highest correlation with the Gaussian peak(0.92). Illite-kaolinite mixtures are essential for Gaussian deconvolution because of the overlap of absorption region. Illite and kaolinite mixtures indicate the high correlation of 0.93 and 0.98, respectively. The error ranges in the alunite-kaolinite(8%) and illite-kaolinite mixtures(5%) derived from SWIR were smaller than the ones(29% and 26%) obtained from X-ray diffraction(Rietveld) analysis. These results show that SWIR spectroscopic analysis is more reliable than XRD Rietveld analysis in terms of quantification of allowed minerals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalEconomic and Environmental Geology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb


  • Gaussian deconvolution
  • Hydrothermal alteration zone
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Short wavelength infrared (SWIR)
  • Two component system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology


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