GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 225-4
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM


STAFFORD, Kevin W. and SHIELDS, Jessica, Geology, Stephen F. Austin State University, P.O. Box 13011, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962

Geologic analyses utilizing remote sensing continues to advance rapidly, including numerous applications currently employed for geohazard detection and delineation in gypsum karst of the Castile Formation in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Currently, high-resolution, publically-available, remote sensing data is not largely available for the Gypsum Plain. However, rapidly expanding petroleum exploration and development within the region has increased the need for high-resolution (<50cm), elevation models and color-infrared (CIR) imagery to enhance planning, design and geohazard mitigation associated with infrastructure. Coupling multiple remote sensing analyses for delineation of probable geohazards has the potential to provide an economical means of rapid regional geo-assessment and designation of areas where karst development is most intense for greater site-specific investigations.

Gypsum karst geohazard detection in West Texas relies heavily on LIDAR (light detection and ranging) derived elevation models to: 1) develop overland flow models for drainage of monsoonal storms from infrastructure; 2) delineation of major karst interfaces for groundwater recharge and potential shallow macro-porosity; and 3) delineation of subtle, shallow depressions that have been filled with gypsic soils mantling buried karst features. CIR-image analyses have been employed for Gypsum Plain geohazard assessment to develop classified geologic maps for spatial prediction of regions favorable for karst development; NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) analyses have proven useful for delineation of regions of high moisture flux, including filled sinkholes, filled solution valleys, and non-confined hypogene manifestations. Thermal-infrared (TIR) imagery analyses have significant potential for geohazard detection, but rely heavily on high thermal and barometric pressure differences for effective phenomena detection which requires more extensive planning to maximize the benefits of local ambient conditions at the time of image capture. UAV platforms have widespread potential for economical, high resolution data collection of CIR and TIR imagery as well as accurate elevation models.