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Automated mapping of mineral groups and green vegetation from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery with an example from the San Juan Mountains, Colorado

May 28, 2013

Multispectral satellite data acquired by the ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (TM) sensors are being used to populate an online Geographic Information System (GIS) of the spatial occurrence of mineral groups and green vegetation across the western conterminous United States and Alaska. These geospatial data are supporting U.S. Geological Survey national-scale mineral deposit database development and other mineral resource and geoenvironmental research as a means of characterizing mineral exposures related to mined and unmined hydrothermally altered rocks and mine waste.

This report introduces a new methodology for the automated analysis of Landsat TM data that has been applied to more than 180 scenes covering the western United States. A map of mineral groups and green vegetation produced using this new methodology that covers the western San Juan Mountains, Colorado, and the Four Corners Region is presented. The map is provided as a layered GeoPDF and in GIS-ready digital format. TM data analysis results from other well-studied and mineralogically characterized areas with strong hydrothermal alteration and (or) supergene weathering of near-surface sulfide minerals are also shown and compared with results derived from ASTER data analysis.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2013
Title Automated mapping of mineral groups and green vegetation from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery with an example from the San Juan Mountains, Colorado
DOI 10.3133/sim3252
Authors Barnaby W. Rockwell
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3252
Index ID sim3252
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center

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