Regional gravity analysis of Burkina Faso: Implications for the location of metallic ore deposits


Gravity data were analyzed in conjunction with available geological data to determine the origin of observed gravity anomalies and their possible relationship to metallic ore deposits. The gravity data analysis included the construction of a Bouguer gravity anomaly, isostatic residual gravity anomaly and enhanced horizontal gravity gradient maps, and two and one-half dimensional gravity models. The isostatic residual gravity anomaly field could be broken down into five distinct regions based on anomaly amplitude, trend and wavelength. The analysis of these regions showed that both the Birimian and granitoid provinces consist mainly of a series of short wavelength gravity maxima and minima with a few large scale anomalies which suggests that the subsurface geology is more complicated than is currently known. Two gravity models roughly oriented north-south also implied this complicated subsurface geology and showed that most source bodies have depths up to 5 km. The known base metal deposits occur on the edge of small-scale gravity maxima within the Birimian province with the exceptions of the deposits within the Bouroum-Yalogo belt which occur next to a large amplitude gravity maximum related to an ultramafic complex.


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Document Type





Bouguer gravity, Burkina Faso, Ore deposits, West Africa craton

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of African Earth Sciences