ASTER, ALI and Hyperion Sensors Data for Lithological Mapping and Ore Minerals Exploration

Springerplus. 2014 Mar 7;3:130. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-3-130. eCollection 2014.


This paper provides a review of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), Advanced Land Imager (ALI), and Hyperion data and applications of the data as a tool for ore minerals exploration, lithological and structural mapping. Spectral information extraction from ASTER, ALI, and Hyperion data has great ability to assist geologists in all disciplines to map the distribution and detect the rock units exposed at the earth's surface. The near coincidence of Earth Observing System (EOS)/Terra and Earth Observing One (EO-1) platforms allows acquiring ASTER, ALI, and Hyperion imagery of the same ground areas, resulting accurate information for geological mapping applications especially in the reconnaissance stages of hydrothermal copper and gold exploration, chromite, magnetite, massive sulfide and uranium ore deposits, mineral components of soils and structural interpretation at both regional and district scales. Shortwave length infrared and thermal infrared bands of ASTER have sufficient spectral resolution to map fundamental absorptions of hydroxyl mineral groups and silica and carbonate minerals for regional mapping purposes. Ferric-iron bearing minerals can be discriminated using six unique wavelength bands of ALI spanning the visible and near infrared. Hyperion visible and near infrared bands (0.4 to 1.0 μm) and shortwave infrared bands (0.9 to 2.5 μm) allowed to produce image maps of iron oxide minerals, hydroxyl-bearing minerals, sulfates and carbonates in association with hydrothermal alteration assemblages, respectively. The techniques and achievements reviewed in the present paper can further introduce the efficacy of ASTER, ALI, and Hyperion data for future mineral and lithological mapping and exploration of the porphyry copper, epithermal gold, chromite, magnetite, massive sulfide and uranium ore deposits especially in arid and semi-arid territory.

Keywords: ALI; ASTER; Hyperion; Lithological and structural mapping; Ore minerals exploration; Remote sensors.

Publication types

  • Review