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Digital map of iron sulfate minerals, other mineral groups, and vegetation of the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, and Four Corners Region derived from automated analysis of Landsat 8 satellite data

February 24, 2021

Multispectral remote sensing data acquired by the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) sensor were analyzed using a new, automated technique to generate a map of exposed mineral and vegetation groups in the western San Juan Mountains, Colorado and the Four Corners Region of the United States (Rockwell and others, 2021). Spectral index (e.g. band-ratio) results were combined into displayed mineral and vegetation groups using Boolean algebra. New analysis logic has been implemented to exploit the coastal aerosol band in Landsat 8 OLI data and identify concentrations of iron sulfate minerals. These results may indicate the presence of near-surface pyrite, which can be a potential non-point source of acid rock drainage. Map data, in ERDAS IMAGINE (.img) thematic raster format, represent pixel values with mineral and vegetation group classifications, and can be queried in most image processing and GIS software packages. Rockwell, B.W., Gnesda, W.R., and Hofstra, A.H., 2021, Improved automated identification and mapping of iron sulfate minerals, other mineral groups, and vegetation from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager Data: San Juan Mountains, Colorado, and Four Corners Region: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3466, scale 1:325,000, 51 p. pamphlet, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3466.

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