Mineralogy and geochemistry of geophagic materials from Mashau Village in Limpopo Province, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Ekosse, G. E.
dc.contributor.advisor Odiyo, J. O.
dc.contributor.author Mashao, Unarine
dc.date 2018
dc.date.accessioned 2018-06-05T12:41:58Z
dc.date.available 2018-06-05T12:41:58Z
dc.date.issued 2018-05-18
dc.identifier.citation Mashao, Unarine (2018) Mineralogy and geochemistry of geophagic materials from Mashau Village in Limpopo Province, South Africa. University of Venda, South Africa.<http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1115>.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1115
dc.description MESMEG
dc.description Department of Mining and Environmental Geology
dc.description.abstract Literature indicated that several mineralogical identification studies have been carried out on clays but few have focused on the characterisation of geophagic materials from South Africa. Large quantities of earth materials are consumed daily in Mashau Village, however, their mineral content and geochemical compositions had not been determined. Moreover, though the consumption of geophagic materials is very common in the village, the associated health implications had not been addressed. Thus, the main aim of the research was to mineralogically and geochemically characterise geophagic materials commonly ingested in Mashau Village and infer on possible health implications that could result from their consumption. Questionnaires were administered to geophagists in the study area with the aim of generating data on the prevalence of geophagia and the motivations for the practice. Geophagic soils and their parent rocks (for determination of provenance) were sampled and analysed for mineralogical and geochemical content. Geophagic soil samples were subjected to the following physicochemical analyses: colour, particle size distribution, pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and electrical conductivity (EC). An x-ray diffractometer (XRD) was used for mineralogical analysis while major oxides and trace elements abundances were determined using x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry and laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), respectively. Furthermore, provenance of the geophagic materials was determined using data obtained from mineralogical and geochemical analysis. Inferred health implications were based on the physico-chemical, mineralogical and geochemical data obtained. Outcomes of the questionnaire survey revealed craving to be the motivation for geophagia in Mashau Village. Although the practice seemed to be prevalent in females of certain ages, it was certainly not limited to gender, age, educational level or socio-economic status. Out of the 20 geophagic samples, 3 samples were brown, 2 had a strong brown colour and another 2 had a light olive brown colour. Other soil colours were less common, as each colour was only observed in one sample. The sand fraction dominated the samples; the clay content was low, giving the samples a sandy clay loamy texture. The pH of the soil ranged from being slightly acidic (5.4) to being slightly alkaline. The CEC values were very high ranging from 17 t0 109 meq/100 g. vii The EC values were also high (ranging from 11.2 to 245 μS/cm) indicating a high amount of soluble salts. Mineralogical analysis of geophagic soils identified quartz, microcline, plagioclase, hornblende, dolomite, muscovite, kaolinite, smectite, talc, anatase, hematite, ilmenite, chlorite and epidote with quartz and kaolinite being the dominant minerals. Actinolite, augite, chlorite, epidote, forsterite, magnetite, muscovite, plagioclase, quartz, sepiolite and microcline were the minerals identified in rock samples. Geochemical analysis for major oxides content (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MnO, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O, P2O5 and Cr2O3) indicated that both geophagic soils and parent rocks were mainly composed of silica and alumina. Trace elements geochemistry showed a depletion of LREEs and an enrichment of HREEs in geophagic soils. The results also revealed that the REEs were enriched in the bulk fraction than in the clay fraction. Relative to the Upper Continental Crust (UCC) compositions, the concentrations of trace elements in geophagic soils were generally low. Provenance determination results showed that geophagic soils in Mashau were derived from basalts and sandstones. Majority of the samples were formed as a result of intense weathering while some were as a result of intermediate weathering. The negative health implications of the studied materials could include perforation of the colon, damage of the dental enamel and anaemia. However, geophagic materials could also be a good source of mineral nutrients and beneficial for reduction of nausea during pregnancy. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_US
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xvii, 146 leaves : color illustrations, color maps)
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Geophagic en_US
dc.subject Geophagic materials en_US
dc.subject Geochemical compositions en_US
dc.subject Health implications en_US
dc.subject Mashau Village en_US
dc.subject Mineralogy en_US
dc.subject.ddc 549.60968257
dc.subject.lcsh Mineralogy -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Geochemistry -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Earth sciences -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Clay minerals -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Pica (Pathology) -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.title Mineralogy and geochemistry of geophagic materials from Mashau Village in Limpopo Province, South Africa en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US

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