Visible-wavelength and near-infrared image cubes of the Animas River watershed in southwestern Colorado have been acquired by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Airborne Visible and InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) instrument and processed using the U.S. Geological Survey Tetracorder v3.6a2 implementation. The Tetracorder expert system utilizes a spectral reference library containing more than 400 laboratory and field spectra of end-member minerals, mineral mixtures, vegetation, manmade materials, atmospheric gases, and additional substances to generate maps of mineralogy, vegetation, snow, and other material distributions. Major iron-bearing, clay, mica, carbonate, sulfate, and other minerals were identified, among which are several minerals associated with acid rock drainage, including pyrite, jarosite, alunite, and goethite. Distributions of minerals such as calcite and chlorite indicate a relationship between acid-neutralizing assemblages and stream geochemistry within the watershed. Images denoting material distributions throughout the watershed have been orthorectified against digital terrain models to produce georeferenced image files suitable for inclusion in Geographic Information System databases. Results of this study are of use to land managers, stakeholders, and researchers interested in understanding a number of characteristics of the Animas River watershed.
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Remote sensing characterization of the Animas River watershed, southwestern Colorado, by AVIRIS imaging spectroscopy