Using GIS to understand the environmental chemistry of manganese contaminated soils, Kgwakgwe area, Botswana

  • Georges Ekosse X-Ray Diffraction Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, P/Bag 0022 Gaborone, Botswana
  • Paul S Fouche School of Agriculture and Environmental Science, University of the North, Sovenga, Limpopo Province, South Africa


This study aimed at establishing the spatial distribution of manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) within the periphery of a manganese oxide (Mn oxide) ore abandoned mine. Four hundred soil samples were obtained from a 4 km2 area close to the Kgwakgwe Mn oxide ore abandoned mine, Kanye, South eastern Botswana. The determination of Fe and Mn concentrations after acid digestion of samples was performed on a Varian Spectra AA-220 FS atomic absorption spectrometer (Varian, Australia) equipped with a deuterium background correction. Laboratory results were processed using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and Remote Sensing (RS) techniques with the integrated Land and Water Information System (ILWIS), Geosoft Oasis Montaj and ArcGIS software packages. Microsoft Excel was used for statistical and graphical presentation of data analyses. The range of concentration levels of Fe in soils was from 1116 µg g-1 to 870766 µg g-1 with a mean of 17593 µg g-1 and for Mn in soils was 35 µg g-1 to 24907 µg g-1 with a mean of 1088 µg g-1. The gridded soil maps for Fe and Mn show anomalies in different parts of the study area. Where Mn is high, the Fe is low and vice versa. Manganese was high at the mine workings and in the northwestern part of the study area. Iron on the other hand is very low in the mine working area and is high on the northern part of the study area. Suggestions are advanced for the Mn interplay in the soils and environment around the Kgwakgwe abandoned Mn oxides ore mine.

Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management Vol 9(2) 2005: 37-42

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eISSN: 2659-1502
print ISSN: 1119-8362