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The collection and interpretation of information about an object without physical contact with the object; eg, satellite imaging, aerial photography, and open path measurements.

Satellite remote sensing has become a common tool to investigate the different fields of Earth and environmental sciences.


Remote sensing is used as a tool to extract information about the land surface structure, composition or subsurface, but is often combined with other data sources providing complementary measurements.

Remote sensing is not limited to direct geology applications - it is also used to support logistics, such as route planning for access into a mining area, reclamation monitoring, and generating basemaps upon which geological data can be referenced or superimposed.

Geological applications of remote sensing include the following: surficial deposit / bedrock mapping lithological mapping structural mapping sand and gravel (aggregate) exploration/ exploitation mineral exploration hydrocarbon exploration environmental geology geobotany baseline infrastructure sedimentation mapping and monitoring event mapping and monitoring geogeo-hazard mapping and planetary mapping

Geoenvironmental research can help to identify the causes of these events, point the way to rehabilitation measures, and lend support for early warning systems

Remote sensing adds considerably to this research by providing a wide variety of sensors operated from airborne and satellite platforms.

The GARS Program of UNESCO and IUGS provides a means of continually investigating the geological applicability of remoteremote-sensing techniques.

The multispectral scanner images from the first nonnonmeteorological, civilian Earth observation satellites, the US LANDSAT series launched in 1972

The LANDSAT images were received enthusiastically by a small scientific community, mostly geologists, oceanographers and geographers.

The GARS Program, jointly sponsored by UNESCO and IUGS, was inaugurated in 1984 (Weber, 1985) LANDSATLANDSAT-1,and LANDSATLANDSAT-4, containing Thematic Mapper, was launched, adding an additional three bands in the SWIR (short(shortwave infrared) to the existing visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) nearbands.

Remote sensing has become a widely accepted research tool by almost all Geological Surveys the world over.

Why remote sensing?

A synoptic view of regional scale is a much different perspective than point ground observations when trying to map structural elements. elements.

Remote sensing offers this perspective and allows a geologist to examine other reference ancillary data simultaneously and synergistically, such as geogeomagnetic information.

Remote sensing gives the overview required to 1.Construct regional unit maps, useful for small scale analyses, and planning field traverses to sample and verify various units for detailed mapping; 2.Understand the spatial distribution and surface relationships between the units.

Remote sensing offers this perspective and allows a geologist to examine other reference ancillary data simultaneously and synergistically, such as geo-magnetic geoinformation.

Geologic Unit Mapping
Mapping geologic units consists primarily of identifying physiographic units and determining the rock lithology or coarse stratigraphy of exposed units.

Data requirements
Two different scales of mapping require slightly different imaging sources and parameters: 1. For site specific analysis, airphotos provide a high resolution product that can provide information on differential weathering, tone, and microdrainage. Photos may be easily viewed in stereo to assess relief characteristics. 2. Regional overviews require large coverage area and moderate resolution. An excellent data source for regional applications is a synergistic combination of radar and optical images to highlight terrain and textural information.

Today, with each new satellite in space, some of the previous work has to be repeated in order to test the new technologies. This has led to a wider acceptance of remote sensing for geological applications and it has found its place among the disciplines of the earth sciences.

Interpretation of the picture
The Navajo Sandstone (a) is the brightest single unit in the scene, followed by the valley floor to the east, much of which is covered by alluvium (b). The Entrada (c) and Wingate (d) Sandstones are notably darker, as is the top surfaces of the Mesaverde (e). Note that the Wingate "pinches" out along the Fold towards the bottom of the image, which suggests that its dip steepens making its outcrop pattern thinner. The Kayenta Formation (f) is barely discernible in the image as a thin, darker tone, but the Chinle (g), also darker, has a wider outcrop pattern, because it is thicker and less steeply dipping. The Emery Sandstone (h) has a darker tone than the overlying Masuk Shale (i) because, in the field, it is dark brown (similar to the Dakota Sandstone seen in the foreground of this picture from the ground).

These dark features are outspillings of salt that have been called "salt glaciers".

Atlas Mountain system of northwest Africa

Atlas Mountain system of northwest Africa

The white sinuous band against a fold ridge is a dry stream or wadi.

These are the highest mountains in Africa and resemble parts of the Alps except that the vegetation is distinctly different.

gsa.confex.com/gsa www.space.gc.ca/asc/eng/satellites/hyper_geology.asp www.space.gc.ca/asc/eng/satellites/hyper_geology.asp www.spie.org/conferences www.gisdevelopment.net/application/ geology/mineral geology/mineral www.geog.le.ac.uk/cti/rs.html umgc.olemiss.edu/pdf/research/ingram_research.pdf www.geoforum.se/_files/kal_Remote_060911.pdf egip.jrc.it/attegip.jrc.it/att-1014/rs09.pdf www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/ tracer-bullets/remotesensetb.html tracer-bullets/remotesensetb.html ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/resource/ tutor/fundam/chapter5/09_e.php www.crms.uga.edu/ www.itc.nl/ilwis/applications/application14.asp www.itc.nl/ilwis/applications/application14.asp http://www.waterquality.de/hydrobio.hw/RTERMS.HTM

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