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Evaluation of Multi-scale Hyperspectral Reflectance and Emittance Image Data for Remote Mineral Mapping in Northeastern Death Valley National Park, California and Oasis Valley, Nevada
AuthorAslett, Zan L.
AdvisorTaranik, James V.
Geological Sciences and Engineering
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This dissertation focuses upon the analyses of hyperspectral reflectance and thermal emission image data to remotely detect and map surficial mineralogy in an arid environment in southern Nevada and southeastern California. It includes four manuscripts prepared for submission to peer-reviewed journals, which are presented as single chapters. The research involves the use of visible (VIS), near-infrared (NIR), shortwave-infrared (SWIR), and longwave-infrared (LWIR) hyper-spectral measurements made from ground, aerial, and spaceborne perspectives of sedimentary and meta-sedimentary geologic units in northeastern Death Valley National Park, California and an area of diverse Paleozoic and Tertiary geology in Oasis Valley, Nevada. In Chapter 1, a brief overview of the dissertation is provided, including background on reflectance and infrared mineral spectroscopy; remote sensing; the impacts of spatial and spectral resolution upon the ability to detect, identify, and map minerals using remote sensing image data; and the use of combined reflectance and emittance image data to better map minerals. In Chapter 2, ground-based SEBASS LWIR hyperspectral image data is analyzed in order to determine the ability and utility of very high resolution remotely-sensed emittance measurements to delineate late-Proterozoic and Paleozoic sedimentary lithologies of an outcrop at Hell's Gate, Death Valley. In Chapter 3, airborne SEBASS image data over Boundary Canyon are analyzed in conjunction with moderate-scale geologic maps and laboratory measurements to map minerals associated with sedimentary and meta-sedimentary rocks and important in recognizing a fault structure, as well as metamorphic facies. In Chapter 4, ground-based and aerial SEBASS, aerial MASTER, and spaceborne ASTER emittance measurements are compared over two study sites to determine what repercussions viewing perspective and spatial, spectral, and radiometric resolutions have upon remote identification and mapping of minerals associated with the Boundary Canyon detachment fault. In Chapter 5, a comparison of reflectance and emittance hyperspectral measurements over Oasis Valley is used to determine whether certain minerals are optimally detected, identified, and mapped within a certain wavelength range. In Chapter 6, the presented research is summarized, repercussions of the results are analyzed, and future research possibilities are suggested. The research was successful in presenting: 1) new uses of imaging spectrometer data, 2) identifying mineralogic indicators of detachment faulting in the Boundary Canyon study area, 3) scale-based limitations upon detection of these mineral components associated with detachment faulting, and 4) limitations upon identifying particular minerals in specific wavelength segments, thereby constraining expectations of future VNIR/SWIR and LWIR image data mineral mapping surveys.