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Hyperspectral Imaging & Analysis of Hydrothermal Alteration Mineralogy in Cuprite, Nevada

Low altitude (40-80m AGL) UAV Flights were conducted over the Cuprite Hills region of Nevada, USA, with a sensor payload including LiDAR, Short Wave Inf rared (900-2500nm) and Visible Near Inf rared (400-1000nm) Hyperspectral sensors. The LiDAR data were used to build 3D and Digital Elevation Models of the surveyed terrain, which were in turn used to orthorectify the data from the line scan imagers. Samples were collected f rom the survey areas and analyzed in the laboratory to generate spectral libraries for classification of the spectral images.

Classification of drone-based hyperspectral scans shows the distribution of spectrally active minerals in the exposed upper zone of the Cuprite epithermal system in southern Nevada. The exposures of different types of clays, micas, sulfates, and other alteration products can help to map the nature, intensity, and geochemical conditions of the epithermal processes active at Cuprite, indicating a low-pH fluid system with variable sulfidation. The classified mineral maps were then fused with the LiDAR point clouds to generate 3-dimensional images of the mineralogy of the areas surveyed.

Disclaimer: We are not trying to reinterpret Swayze et al., just look at the same area with a higher-resolution system.


Carson B. Roberts Ph.D., Isabel Barton Ph.D., Jingping He

Published in:

AGU Annual Meeting Poster Presentation, 2021


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