2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM


BEDELL, Richard Lund, AuEx, 940 Matley Lane, suite 17, Reno, NV 89502 and TARANIK, James V., Geological Sciences, Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV 89557-0138, rbedell@auex.com

Remote Sensing has advanced the ability to map the location of altered areas, specify many mineral alteration species, and designate regions of hydrothermal upwelling and outflow zones related to mineralization. The increased spatial and spectral resolution of satellite and airborne sensors provide significant tools to the exploration, evaluation and understanding of the genesis of mineral deposits.

Exploitation of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data continues to enable explorationists to make new discoveries in well studied and mapped mineralized regions. Landsat TM enables maps of clay and iron oxide alteration to be produced. Analysis of ASTER satellite data has provided information on mineral groups and a few specific mineral species. Importantly ASTER data can effectively map propylitic, argillic, and advanced argillic assemblages. Hyperspectral data from airborne scanners can map many specific alteration mineral species as well as cation substitution in certain clay minerals important to the evaluation of mineralization.

A major challenge for exploration and mineral genesis studies is being able to distinguish and map hydrothermal upwelling and outflow zones. Currently available ASTER and hyperspectral data have the ability to provide coherent maps that can distinguish paleo-fluid paths that can lead to a greater understanding of ore system genesis and aid exploration efforts. Images that provide synoptic and spatially coherent data provide an increasingly important tool when combined with field and laboratory spectral analysis, petrography and critical field observations.