Natural aggregate is vital to the construction industry. Although natural aggregate is a high volume/low value commodity that is abundant, new sources are becoming increasingly difficult to find and develop because of rigid industry specifications, political considerations, development and transportation costs, and environmental concerns. There are two primary sources of natural aggregate: (1) exposed or near-surface bedrock that can be crushed, and (2) deposits of sand and gravel. Remote sensing and airborne geophysics detect surface and near-surface phenomena, and may be useful for detecting and mapping potential aggregate sources; however, before a methodology for applying these techniques can be developed, it is necessary to understand the type, distribution, physical properties, and characteristics of natural aggregate deposits. The distribution of potential aggregate sources is closely tied to local geologic history. Conventional exploration for natural aggregate deposits has been largely a ground-based operation, although aerial photographs and topographic maps have been extensively used to target possible deposits. Today, the exploration process also considers factors such as the availability of the land, space and water supply for processing, political and environmental factors, and distance from the market; exploration and planning cannot be separated. There are many physical properties and characteristics by which to judge aggregate material for specific applications; most of these properties and characteristics pertain only to individual aggregate particles. The application of remote sensing and airborne geophysical measurements to detecting and mapping potential aggregate sources, however, is based on intrinsic bulk physical properties and extrinsic characteristics of the deposits that can be directly measured, mathematically derived from measurement, or interpreted with remote sensing and geophysical data. ?? 1995 Oxford UniversityPress.
Additional publication details
A survey of natural aggregate properties and characteristics important in remote sensing and airborne geophysics