Mineralogical studies and radioactivity of Wadi Steih stream sediments, south Sinai, Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


Nuclear Materials Authority, Research Sector, Cairo, Egypt.


Wadi Steih stream sediments are generally produced from long term successive physical and/or chemical weathering and consequence erosion processes of the surrounding rock units such as younger granites, Iqna volcanics and gabbro. The representative diagrams of the plotting of the average trace element contents versus those of the surrounding rock units along with the Co/Th ratio indicate that the trace elements recorded in the Wadi Steih stream sediments are derived from the surrounding rock units. The radiometric surveying indicates the over dominance of thorium rather than uranium. The thorium content ranges from 4.4 ppm to 335 ppm with an average of 62.5 ppm. Uranium content ranges from 2 ppm to 15 ppm with an average 6.2 ppm. The high thorium contents of these stream sediments are generally ascribed to the presence of monazite, zircon and huttonite. These minerals are trapped by widespread basic dykes that act as physical barriers. The source of uranium present in the stream sediments is ascribed, in part, to its mobility from the surrounding uraniferous younger granites and its adsorption along the grain boundaries of the clay minerals which are originated from the weathering processes acting on the basic dykes where uranium is ultimately adsorbed along their boundaries. The other probable source of uranium is the presence of secondary lead uranyl hydroxide mineral spriggite. The distribution of the radioelements of Wadi Steih stream sediments is mainly controlled by the presence of both basic dykes which are acting as physical barrier and the prevailed NW-SE drainage patterns.


Main Subjects

[1] Sherif HMY: Geology and radioactivity studies of Wadi El Berra area, South Sinai, Egypt. M. Sc. Thesis, Suez Canal Univ., Egypt. 1993
[2] El Metwally AA: Petrogenesis of gabbroic rock intrusion from South- Central Sinai massif: A transition from arc to interpolate magmatism. The third conf. on geochemistry Alex., Egypt 1997;1: 49-66.
[3] Sherif HMY: Geology and Uranium potentiality of Wadi Seih area, southwestern Sinai, Egypt. Ph.D. Thesis, Cairo Univ. Fac. of Sci., Geo. Depart. 1998;229 pp.
[4] Ibrahim SK. and Khalifa IH: Geochemistry and petrogenesis of the granitoid rocks at Wadi Barah- Wadi Sahab area, south Sinai, Egypt. Al-Azhar Bull. Sci. 2004;Vol. 15. No. 1(June): pp. 151- 168.
[5] El-Sheshtawy YA: Petrographical and geochemical studies of granitic rocks around Wadi El-Sheikh, southwestern Sinai, Egypt. Ph.D. Thesis, Al-Azhar univ. Cairo, Egypt. 185 pp. 1984.
[6] Ahmed AM: Geological studies of some granitic rocks around Wadi Um Adawi, Southestern Sinai, Egypt. Ph. D.Thesis, Al-Azhar Univ., Cairo, Egypt. 204p,1985.
[7] El Bedawi  MA: Geology and geochemistry of the basement rocks of Dahab area, Sinai, Egypt. M. Sc. Thesis, Cairo Univ. 1988
[8] Abdel-Karim AM: Petrogenesis of Late Precambrian younger granites from Southwest Sinai, Egypt. J. Min. Petr. Econ. Geol. 1996;91,185-195.
[9] Azzaz SA: Petrogenesis of granitoid rocks of Wadi Baba area, southern Sinai, Egypt. JKAU: Earth Sci., 1993; 6, 79 – 98.
[10] EI Galy MM: Geochemical and radiometfic studies of some grani 'tic rocks at Gabal Hamra area, Southwestern Sinai, Egypt. M. Sc. Thesis, Tanta Univ. Egypt,200p. 1994.
[11] Azzaz SA: Younger granites of Seih-Sidri area, southwestern Sinai, Egypt: Geochemistry, mineral chemistry and tectonic setting. Egypt. J. Geol., 1995; 39 (1), 399-414.
[12]Abdel-Karim AM and Arva-Sos E: Geology and K-Ar ages of some older and younger granite in Southwestern Sinai, Egypt. Proc.3rd Con. Geol. Sinai Develop. Ismailia, 1992;261-266.
[13]Hussein HA, EL Shazly YAG, El Assy IE and El Galy MM: Petrogenesis of Pan- African granitoids, Gabal Hamra Area, southwestern Sinai, Egypt. Basement Tectonics, 1999;13, 117-138.
[14] Bishr AH: Geology, radioactivity and mineralogical studies of some granitic plutons in Wadi Um Hamd Environs, southwest Sinai, Egypt. M.Sc. Thesis. Mansoura University. Mansoura, Egypt. 132pp. 2003.
[15]Gabr  MM: Zircon typology and uranium mineralization of some younger granite plutons, south western Sinai, Egypt. Ph. D. Thesis, Suez Canal University, Egypt. 156pp.2005 (unpublished).
[16] Nasr MM: Geological and radioactive studies on the granitoid rocks, north Ras Mohamed area, south Sinai, Egypt. Ph. D. Thesis, Suez Canal University, Egypt. 197pp.2006 (unpublished).
[17] Akaad MK, Noweir AM and Kotb H: Geology and petrochemistry of the granite association of the Arabian Orogenic belt of Egypt between Lat. 25° 35ʹ and 26° 30ʹ N. Delta J. Sci., 1979;3. pp.107-151.
[18] Bentor YK: The crustal evolution of the Arabo-Nubian massif with special reference to the Sinai Peninsula. Precamb. Res., 1985; 1-74.
[19] Eyal M, Bartov Y, Shimron AE and Bentor YK: Sinai geological map, scale 1:500,000. 1980;Geol, Surv. Israel. 
[20] Bentor YK and Eyal M: The geology of Sinai; its implication for the evolution of the Arabo-Nubian Massif, Gabal Sabbagh sheet. The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1987;484pp
[22] Samuel MD, Moussa HE and Azer MK: Geochemistry and petrogenesis of Iqna Shar’a volcanic rocks, Central Sinai, Egypt. Egypt. J. Geol. 2001b; (45/2), pp.921–940.
[23] El-Akeed  IAH: Geology and potentiality of uranium in granite and associated rocks in Saint Katherine area, South Western Sinai, Egypt. Ph. D. Thesis, Mansoura Univ. Damietta branch, Egypt. 2009.
[24] Ghoneim MF, Abu Anbar MM, Abdel-Karim AM  and Nageib A: Volcanism-plutonism counterpart of south Sinai: evidence for stage of magmatic relaxation. International Colloquium 3 MA, Beni Mellal- April 23-24, 2009/ 70.
[25] Azer MK and El Gharabawy R: The Neoproterozoic layered mafic–ultramafic intrusion of Gabal Imleih, southSinai, Egypt: Implications of post-collisional magmatism in the northArabian–Nubian Shield. Journal of African Earth Sciences. 2011; 60, 253-272.
[26] Rose AW: The mode of occurrence of trace elements in soils and stream sediments applied to geochemical exploration; in Geochemical Exploration 1974, Elsevier Publ. Co., Amsterdam, 1975;p. 691-705.
[27] Dissanayake CB, Chandrajtth R and Tobschall HJ: The geology, mineralogy and rare element geochemistry of the gem deposits of SriLanka. Bull. Geol. Soc. Finland. 2000;72, Parts 1–2, 5–20.
[28] El Mezayen, AM, Abdel Ghani IM, El Balakssy SS and El Setouhy MS:Geology and geochemistry of granitic rocks and their surrounding stream sediments at Gabal Rei El-Garrah area, Central Eastern Desert, Egypt  . Journal of American Science 2017;13(11)  
[29] Gromet LP, Dymek RF, Haskin LA and Korotev RL: The “North American shale composite”—Its compilation, major and trace element characteristics: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 1984;v. 48, p. 2469–2482.
 [30] Mira H,  Hussein H, Tawfik S and Neveen AN: Stream Sediments Geochemical Exploration in Wadi El Reddah area, Northeastern Desert, Egypt. Mediterranean Journal of Chemistry 2020; 10(8), 809-827 
[31] Onuma N, Higuchi H, Wakita H and Nagasawa H: Trace element partition between two pyroxenes and the host lava. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 1968; 5. 47-51.
[32] Taylor SR and McLennan SM: The continental crust: Its composition and evolution. Blackwell, Oxford. 1985;312pp.
[33] Singh P: Geochemistry and provenance of stream sediments of the Ganga River and its major tributaries in the Hemalayan region, Idia. Chemical Geology, 2010;269;220-236.
[34] Mansour GMR, Bamite AF And Khaleal FM: Reconnaissance study on economic minerals of Wadi Nugrus stream sediments: Resources and distribution. Sci. J. Fac. Sci. Minufia Univ.  2009;Vol. AXlI. 131-160
[35] Irzon R: Thorium and Total REE Correlation in Stream Sediment Samples from Lingga Regency. Eksplorium 2018;Vol. 39 No. 1. 1–16
[36] Ramadan F, Omran A, El-Nahas HA, Zeid I and Hassan M: Radioactivity and mineralogy of microgranite dykes and stream sediments of Ras Abda Area, northern Eastern Desert, Egypt. N Y Sci J . 2019;12(11):35-46.
[37] Ebyan OA,  Khamis HA, Alia HH  and Abed NS: Radioactivity and Geochemistry of Wadi El Reddah Stream Sediments, North Eastern Desert, Egypt. Arab J. Nucl. Sci. Appl., 2020; Vol. 53, 1, 76-87.
[38] Pabst  A:Monoclinic Thorium Silicate". Nature. 1950;166 (4212): 15
[39] Pabst A and Osborne Hutton C: Huttonite, a new monoclinic thorium silicate"(PDF). Am. Mineral. 1951;36: 60–69.
[40] Della VenturaB, Parod GC, Raudsepp M, Bellatreccia  F, Caprilli  E and Paolo V: Monazite-huttonite solid-solutions from the Vico Volcanic Complex, Latium, Italy. Mineralogical Magazine, October 1996, Vol. 60, pp. 751 758..
[41]Breiter K and Förster HF: Compositional Variability of Monazite–Cheralite–Huttonite Solid Solutions, Xenotime, and Uraninite in Geochemically Distinct Granites with Special Emphasis to the Strongly Fractionated Peraluminous Li–F–P-Rich Podlesí Granite System (Erzgebirge/Krušné Hory Mts., Central Europe). Minerals. 2021; 11, 127.
[42] Al-Ani T, Molnár F, Lintinen P  and  Leinonen S: Geology and Mineralogy of Rare Earth Elements Deposits and Occurrences in Finland. Minerals 2018, 8, 356.
[43] Hinton RW and Paterson  BA: Crystallization history of granitic magma: evidences from trace elements zoning. Mineral. Mag., 1994;Vol. 58A, P. 416:417.
[44] Bea F, Pereira, MD, Corretage  LG and Fershtater  GB: Differentiation of strongly peraluminous, perphosphorous granites: the Pedrobenards pluton, Central Spain. Geochemica et Cosmochemica Acta, 1994;Vol.58, P. 2609:2627.
[45] Bea  F: Residence of REE, Y, Th and U in granites and crustal protoliths; implications for the chemistry of crustal melts. Journal of Petrology 1996;37 (3), 521–552.
[46] Deer WA, Howie RA and Zussman J:An introduction to the rock-forming minerals. (Second edition) ELBS with Longman.1992; 696 pp.
[47] Phillips WR and Griffen DT: Optical mineralogy, the non-opaque minerals. Freeman and Company, Sanfrancisco. U.S.A.1981.
[48] El-Sayed AA, Mansour MGh, Sherif HM and El-Mowafy AA: Radiometry and alpha- track analyses of the stream sediments of Wadi Iqna, South Sinai, Egypt. Proceeding of the 7th Conf. Geology of Sinai for Development, Ismailia, 2004, pp. 403-411.
[49] Brugger J, Krivovichev SV, Berlepsch  P, Meisser  N, Ansermet S and Armbruster T: Spriggite, Pb3[(UO2)6O8(OH)2](H2O)3, a new mineral with β-U3O8-type sheets: description and crystal structure. American Mineralogist: 2004;89: 339-347.
 [50] Segalstad TV and Larsen AO: Gadolinite-(Ce) from Skien, southwestern Oslo region, Norway. Amer. Mineral.,1978; 63, 188-195.
[51] Rogers JW and Adams JSS: Uranium. In: Wedepohl, K.H. (ed.), Handbook of Geochemistry, New York, springer-Verlag, 4, 92B-1 to 92C.1969.
[53] Charbonneau  BW and Ford  KL: Uranium mineralization at the base of the Windsor Group, South Maitland, Nova Scotia; Current research, Part A, Geol. Surv. Can., Paper 1977;78-1A, pp. 419-425.
[54] Clarke  SP, Peterman ZE and Heier KS:  Abundances  in  uranium,  thorium  and potassium.  In:  Handbook  of  physical  constants, Geological Society of America, Memoir 1966;97, p. 521-541
[54] Ewers  GR, John F and Dannelly TH: The Nabarlek uranium deposit, North Territory, Australia: Some petrologic and geochemical constrain of orogenesis. Economic geology, 1983;V. 78, pp. 823-837.
 [55] Heikal M Th,  El-Dosuky  BT, Ghoneim MF and Sherif MI: Natural adioactivity in basement rocks and stream sediments, Sharm El Sheikh Area, South Sinai, Egypt: radiometric levels and their significant contributions. Arab J Geosci 2013; 6:3229–3239.