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Playa evaporite mineral deposits show major compositional variations related to differences in lithology, hydrology, and groundwater geochemistry. The use of visible and near-infrared (VNIR) spectral reflectance measurements as a technique for investigating the mineralogy of playa efflorescent crusts is examined. Samples of efflorescent crust were collected from 4 playa: Bristol Dry Lake, Saline Valley, Teels Marsh, and Rhodes Marsh--all located in eastern California and western Nevada. Laboratory and field spectral analyses coupled with X-ray diffraction analyses of the crusts yielded the following observations: VNIR spectra of unweathered salt crusts can be used to infer the general chemistry of near-surface brines; VNIR spectra are very sensitive for detecting minor hydrate mineral phases contained in mixtures with anhydrous, spectrally featureless, minerals such as halite (NaCl) and thernardite (Na2So4); borate minerals exhibit particularly strong VNIR spectral features that permit small amounts of borate to be detected in efflorescent salt crusts; remote sensing spectral measurements of playa efflorescent crusts may have applications in global studies of playa brines and minerals.
Additional Publication Details
A spectral reflectance study (0.4-2.5 ??m) of selected playa evaporite mineral deposits and related geochemical processes
Publ by IEEE
Piscataway, NJ, United States
10th Annual International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium - IGARSS '90