Modern remote sensing provides a means for locating and characterizing exposed mineralized systems in many parts of the world. These capabilities are non-invasive and help target specific areas for more detailed exploration. An example of how remote sensing technology can be used is evident from a study of the Questa Mining District, New Mexico. Analysis of low spectral resolution data from the Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite system clearly shows the regional distribution of two broad mineral groups often associated with mineralized systems: clay-carbonate-sulfate and iron oxides-iron hydroxides. Analysis of high spectral resolution data from the Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging System (AVIRIS) shows the occurrence and distribution of many individual mineral species that characterize the pattern of hydrothermally altered rocks in the district.
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Non-invasive exploration in an environmentally sensitive world