Airborne Hyperspectral Data for Mineral Resource Investigations

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In July 2014, USGS collected 2,000 line km of hyperspectral data in the Arctic and Nabesna areas of Alaska.  The project, supported by the USGS Mineral Resources Program, will locate and characterize previously unknown areas of mineralization using airborne hyperspectral remote sensing data. The use of hyperspectral data supports the development of a strategy to more broadly evaluate mineralized zones and their environmental footprints, and to produce better geologic maps utilizing modern geophysical and geochemical analytical tools. The study will improve and expand the capabilities of the USGS to map surficial materials over large geographic areas with limited access, characterize steep and vegetation-covered terrains, and help make the data readily available to a variety of stakeholders including private industry and State and Federal agencies. The results of the study will lead to a better understanding of precious metal, base metal, and critical mineral distribution, help diversify Alaska’s economy by identifying potential exploration targets, and further the use of imaging spectroscopy in mineral resource assessments in the USGS.

Author Name
Trude King
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