Maps of exposed surface mineral groups derived from automated spectral analysis of Landsat 7 ETM+ and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data are being generated for areas of the U.S. and its territories having potential for 1) undiscovered mineral deposits and (or) 2) environmental effects associated with mining and (or) unmined, hydrothermally-altered rocks. The mapping is being continually updated, and currently covers the western, conterminous United States with results from 180 Landsat scenes and 1,630 ASTER scenes.
More detailed and accurate mineral and vegetation maps generated from spectroscopic analysis of ASTER and "hyperspectral" data acquired by airborne imaging systems such as the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), HyMap, and SpecTIR are also provided for comparison with the automated analysis products. Most of these detailed maps are available over important active or abandoned mining districts.
The maps are available online for interactive viewing in a web browser. The underlying map services can be accessed using ArcMap for integration with other geospatial data. References for the maps available in the online services are listed below.
An algorithm for the automated analysis of Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data has been developed, and preliminary results over parts of the southwestern U.S. and the region surrounding the porphyry copper deposit at Butte, Montana are available for viewing and analysis as an internal USGS web service. The results will be posted to the public web application after supporting documentation has been published. The new "Coastal aerosol" band present in OLI data provides important new capabilities for mineral mapping which will have particular impact on geoenvironmental site assessment and monitoring.
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Use the Identify Tool to query the thematic maps and determine the material(s) identified in a pixel. Start the tool, and then click on a map element (colored pixel, polygon, line, or point feature). The attributes associated with most vector-based features (points, lines, and polygons) can also be viewed simply by clicking on them without starting the Identify Tool.
View ArcGIS services in ArcMap:
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Ashley, R.P., 1975, Preliminary geologic map of the Goldfield mining district, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-681, 1:24,000 scale.
Cunningham, C.G., Rye, R.O., Rockwell, B.W., Kunk, M.J., and Councell, T.B., 2005, Supergene destruction of a hydrothermal replacement alunite deposit at Big Rock Candy Mountain, Utah: mineralogy, spectroscopic remote sensing, stable isotope and argon age evidences: Chemical Geology, vol. 215, issues 1-4, pp. 317-337. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2004.06.055.
Dalton, J.B., Bove, D.J., and Mladinich, C.S., 2005, Remote sensing characterization of the Animas River watershed, southwestern Colorado, by AVIRIS imaging spectroscopy: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5203, 49 p. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2004/5203/.
Dalton, J.B., Bove, D.J., Mladinich, C.S., and Rockwell, B.W., 2007, Imaging spectroscopy applied to the Animas River watershed and Silverton caldera, in Church, S.E., von Guerard, P., and Finger, S.E., eds., Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Animas River watershed, San Juan County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1651, pp. 143-159. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1651/downloads/Vol1_combinedChapters/vol1_chapE2.pdf. [pdf file, 10 MB]
Fernette, G. and Rockwell, B.W., 2014, Compilation of mineral deposit footprints in the central and northern Carlin trend, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Digital Data Series, in preparation. Download list of references. [pdf file, 63 KB]
Horton, J.D., San Juan, C.A., and Stoeser, D.B., 2014, State geologic map compilation of the conterminous United States: U.S. Geological Survey Digital Data Series, in preparation. Download list of references. [pdf file, 209 KB]
John, D.A., Rockwell, B.W., Henry, C.D., and Colgan, J.P., 2010, Hydrothermal alteration of the late Eocene Caetano ash-flow caldera, north-central Nevada: a field and ASTER remote sensing study, in 2010 Symposium Volume: Geological Society of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, May 14-22, 2010, pp. 1055-1083.
Long, K.R., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., and Ludington, S.D., 1998, Database of significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the United States: U. S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-206 A,B, 33 pp. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1998/0206a-b/.
Rockwell, B.W., 2009, Comparison of ASTER- and AVIRIS-derived mineral and vegetation maps of the White Horse replacement alunite deposit and surrounding area, Marysvale volcanic field, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5117, 31 p. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5117/.
Rockwell, B.W., 2010a, Mineral and vegetation maps of the Bodie Hills, Sweetwater Mountains, and Wassuk Range, California/Nevada, generated from ASTER satellite data: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3104, scale 1:62,000, 4 plates, pamphlet, 5 p. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3104/.
Rockwell, B.W., 2010b, Evaluation of detailed and automated methodologies for hydrothermal alteration mapping from space: application to geoenvironmental and mineral resource assessments at the scale of watersheds and permissive tracts (abstract and multimedia PowerPoint presentation): Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, October 31-November 3, 2010, Denver, Colorado. Available at http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2010AM/finalprogram/abstract_179892.htm.
Rockwell, B.W., 2012, Description and validation of an automated methodology for mapping mineralogy, vegetation, and hydrothermal alteration type from ASTER satellite imagery with examples from the San Juan Mountains, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3190, 35 p. pamphlet, 5 map sheets, scale 100,000. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3190/.
Rockwell, B.W., 2013a, Automated mapping of mineral groups and green vegetation from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery with an example from the San Juan Mountains, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3252, 25 p. pamphlet, 1 map sheet, scale 1:325,000. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3252/.
Rockwell, B.W., 2013b, Comparative mineral mapping in the Colorado Mineral Belt using AVIRIS and ASTER remote sensing data: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3256, 8 p. pamphlet, 1 map sheet, scale 1:150,000. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3256/.
Rockwell, B.W., Clark, R.N., Livo, K.E., McDougal, R.R., Kokaly, R.F., and Vance, J.S., 1999, Preliminary materials mapping in the Park City region for the Utah USGS-EPA Imaging Spectroscopy Project using both high- and low-altitude AVIRIS data, in Green, R.O., ed., Summaries of the 8th Annual JPL Airborne Earth Science Workshop, NASA JPL Publication 99-17: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA, pp. 365-375. Available at http://speclab.cr.usgs.gov/earth.studies/Utah-1/park_cityAV5.html.
Rockwell, B.W., Cunningham, C.G., Breit, G.N., and Rye, R.O., 2006, Spectroscopic mapping of the White Horse alunite deposit, Marysvale volcanic field, Utah: evidence of a magmatic component: Economic Geology, vol. 101, no. 7, pp. 1377-1395, doi: 10.2113/gsecongeo.101.7.1377. Available at http://econgeol.geoscienceworld.org/content/101/7/1377.
Rockwell, B.W. and Hofstra, A.H., 2008, Identification of quartz and carbonate minerals across northern Nevada using ASTER thermal infrared emissivity data-Implications for geologic mapping and mineral resource investigations in well-studied and frontier areas: Geosphere, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 218-246, doi: 10.1130/GES00126.1. Available at http://geosphere.gsapubs.org/content/4/1/218.
Rockwell, B.W. and Hofstra, A.H., 2009, Remote detection of argillic alteration in quartzites and quartz arenites above and distal to porphyry Cu and Mo deposits: implications for assessments of concealed deposits, in Rocky Mountain Sectional Meeting Abstracts with Programs: Geological Society of America, Orem, Utah, May 11-13, 2009, vol. 41, no. 6, p. 6. Available at https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2009RM/finalprogram/abstract_157797.htm.
Rockwell, B.W. and Hofstra, A.H., 2012, Mapping argillic and advanced argillic alteration in volcanic rocks, quartzites, and quartz arenites in the western Richfield 1° x 2° quadrangle, southwestern Utah, using ASTER satellite data: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1105, 5 p., 1 plate, 2 geospatial PDF maps. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1105/.
Serna-Isaza, M.J., 1971, Geology and geochemistry of Calico Peak, Dolores County, Colorado: Colorado School of Mines M.S. Thesis T-1338, Golden, Colorado.
Smailbegovic, A., Rockwell, B.W., Taranik, J.V., and LaVeigne, J., 2003, A comparison of the new generation airborne and spaceborne hyperspectral imaging for mineral mapping in Cuprite, Nevada: ASTER, Hyperion, AVIRIS, HyMap, and HyperSpecTIR, in Proceedings: International Symposium on Spectral Sensing Research 2003 (ISSSR 2003), Santa Barbara, California, June 2-6, 2003.