GRSG Conference 2020 Presentation

Title: Geologic mapping with non-exclusive high resolution airborne hyperspectral data in Southern Nevada.

Author: David Coulter Ph.D.

Wide use of hyperspectral data for geologic mapping has been limited by minimal availability and the need for relatively high cost bespoke airborne surveys.  Satellite systems such as EnMap promise wider availability but at only moderate resolution (30m).

Proposed systems promise resolutions as high as 5m, but there is little clarity if government entities will allow commercial access to these data or enforce resolution degradation.

The availability in recent years of wide array VNIR-SWIR hyperspectral cameras has significantly reduced the cost of flying airborne hyperspectral over large areas.

Reno Nevada based Spectir LLC has begun to exploit this lower cost by acquiring large areas of Southern Nevada at high spatial resolution (2.5m) under a program called Spectral Atlas.  These data are non-exclusive and available for purchase by anyone.

The most obvious benefit is for mineral exploration allowing companies holding small projects to exploit hyperspectral data without the overhead of flying a survey.  The broader benefit is the ability to use hyperspectral data for litho-mineral stratigraphic mapping.

Most existing hyperspectral surveys have singular targets of interest and lack regional context, whereas the Spectral Atlas data cover broad areas of regional geology.

This presentation will show geologic and alteration mapping benefits of these data.