Characterization of Hydrothermal Systems Using Simulated HyspIRI Data

Related Research Areas
Earth Surface & Interior
Project Description
Active and fossil hydrothermal systems occur worldwide, and share many characteristics indicating common genetic histories. They are often associated with rhyolite-composition volcanic rocks and occur in areas of geologically recent folding and faulting. Surface manifestations of active systems include temperature anomalies, hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, mud pots/pools, silica sinters, sulfate minerals, tufa deposits, travertine, thermophilic vegetation, and vegetation concentrations, alignments and zonation. Fossil hydrothermal systems are present as extinct portions of active systems, and also preserved as epithermal mineral deposits. We propose research to develop improved understanding of the surface expression of hydrothermal systems, the relations between the active and fossil systems, and to determine how knowledge of surface characteristics can be used to help improve and sustain resource development. Existing NASA data will be used to simulate HyspIRI spatial and spectral resolution, building datasets that will allow determination of potential HyspIRI capabilities for resource characterization and monitoring. Key data include AVIRIS, MASTER, ASTER, Hyperion, TIMS, and MAS. Archival data at various spatial resolutions will be utilized to 1) Build HyspIRI-like datasets, 2) Identify, characterize, and map mineral assemblages associated with active and fossil systems, 3) Detect and map vegetation anomalies and distributions related to active systems, 4) Detect, map, and quantify surface temperature anomalies and variability associated with active systems, 5) Model the effects of spatial resolution and HyspIRI spectral coverage and resolution on mineral mapping and temperature determinations, and 6) Detect, characterize, and monitor surface changes associated with development and production of geothermal resources. HSI data will be converted to reflectance using an atmospheric model. LWIR data will be processed to separate temperature and emissivity. Modeling using day-night data and DEMs will allow quantitative temperature measurements and determination of anomalous heat flow at the surface. The VNIR/SWIR HSI reflectance data will be analyzed using spectral-feature-based methods to determine not only the most spectrally dominant mineral (as is commonly done now in HSI analysis), but also for identification and quantification of all spectrally active minerals at each pixel. New methods of presenting HSI-derived mineral assemblage information will be explored. Shape/slope analysis using the LWIR emissivity data will extend mapping capabilities to other rock-forming minerals. Combined analysis of the VNIR/SWIR/LWIR simulated HyspIRI data will provide a more complete picture of surface mineralogy. The proposed research builds on previous work by the PI and other UNR researchers to produce new, quantitative information and insights into the origins and nature of these systems, links between the two, and new information on resource sustainability. The calibrated, corrected, simulated HyspIRI datasets will be made publically available via the internet and research results will be published in the peer-reviewed literature. The proposed research supports several of the HyspIRI Science Questions identified in the NRC Decadal Survey and refined by the HyspIRI Science Study Groups. They include VQ6-Earth surface composition, TQ5a-Spectrally observable mineralogy of the Earth's surface and relation to geochemistry and surface processes, TQ5b-Nature and extent of man-made disturbance and variation over time, TQ5c-Relationship of surface temperature anomalies to deeper thermal sources, and CQ5-Surface composition and response to natural and anthropogenic drivers. The proposed research also meets one of the direct objectives of the NRC Decadal Survey to 'utilize remote sensing technology to better understand our planet and the effects of human activity on societal prosperity, health, and sustainability'. Project PI: Fred Kruse/University of Nevada Reno Arthur Brant Laboratory for Exploration Geophysics University of Nevada, Reno Mail Stop 0172 Reno, NV 89557 Phone: (775) 784-1031 Email:
Project Administrator(s):
Cristina Milesi


Cristina Milesi