Geochemistry of Termite Mounds: A Study from Barite Mineralized Zone, Andhra Pradesh, India

L. Chandra Sekhar Reddy, K. V. Ramana Reddy


Termite mounds are abundant components of Velpula barite mineralization of Kadapa District of Andhra Pradesh, India. The systematic research has been carried out on the application of termite mound sampling to mineral exploration in this region. The distribution of chemical elements Ba, Sr, Cu, Pb and Zn, were studied both in termite soils and adjacent surface soils. In the study area it is observed that generally, concentration of Ba and other elements Sr, Pb, Zn and Cu are higher in termite soils than that of their adjacent surface termite free soils. The concentration of ore element Ba in termite soils is from 1200 to 4013 ppm, and that of soils it is from 147 to 571 ppm reflecting the barium element in termite soils. A biogeochemical parameter called “Biological Absorption Coefficient” of the termite mounds indicated the termite affected soils contained huge amounts of BAC values than the adjacent soils. BAC values of Ba element in all termite mounds are classified as positive reflecting the enrichment of the Ba element in the termite mound with reference to the surface soil. Amongst all the elements, Ba concentration was much greater in the termite mounds reflecting the enrichment of barium .Similarly the maximum BAC value (17.14) for Ba element in termite mounds is attributed to the influence of barium mineral zone in the study area. Therefore, termite mounds are useful indicators in mineral exploration.

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