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Digital image processing techniques for detecting surface alteration - An application on the Alaska Peninsula: A section in The United States Geological Survey in Alaska: Accomplishments during 1983

January 1, 2017

The tectonic evolution of the Alaska Peninsula makes it a likely area for the discovery of significant mineral deposits. However, because of problems associated with remoteness and poor weather, little detailed mineral exploration work has been carried on there. This study focuses on using Landsat multispectral scanner data for the Port Moller, Stepovak Bay, and Simeon of Island Quadrangles to detect surface alteration, probably limonitic (iron oxide staining) and(or) argillic (secondary clay minerals) in character, that could be indicative of mineral deposits. The techniques used here are useful for mapping deposits that have exposed surface alteration of at least an hectare, the approximate spatial resolution of the Landsat data. Virtually cloud-free Landsat coverage was used, but to be detected, the alteration area must also be unobscured by vegetation. Not all mineral deposits will be associated with surface alteration, and not all areas of surface alteration will have valuable mineral deposits.

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