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Computer-enhanced LANDSAT imagery as a tool for mineral exploration in Alaska

January 1, 1976

Recent work in the Nabesna and McCarthy quadrangles, Alaska, indicates that computer-enhanced LANDSAT imagery shows many of the known mineral deposits and can help in the prediction of potential mineral occurrences. False color, "simulated natural color" and color ratio techniques, were used successfully in conjunction with a black and white, single band photomosaic of Alaska. Computer techniques involved 2 stages of digital image processing: 1) atmospheric and sun elevation corrections, noise removal, computer mosaicking and change of the data format; and 2) image enhancement, involving data manipulation for maximum discrimination of surface materials and structure. Application of a new technique called a "sinusoidal" stretch gave information not available in other products having standard contrast stretches. We identified several orthogonal sets of linears and found parallel linears to be regularly spaced at approximately 30-35 km intervals. The locations of known mineral occurrences correlate well with the linears. Extensions of known faults and possible locations of hidden intrusive bodies were identified. Analysis of numerous areas of anomalous light reflectance showed that most are associated with known mineral occurrences, altered zones or geochemical anomalies, whereas some are not and may represent unexplored altered zones or mineralized areas worthy of future exploration.

Publication Year 1976
Title Computer-enhanced LANDSAT imagery as a tool for mineral exploration in Alaska
DOI 10.3133/ofr7665
Authors Nairn R.D. Albert, Pat S. Chavez
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 76-65
Index ID ofr7665
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse