Application of multi-sensor satellite data for exploration of Zn-Pb sulfide mineralization in the Franklinian Basin, North Greenland

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Remote Sensing, 2018, 10 (8)
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© 2018 by the authors. Geological mapping and mineral exploration programs in the High Arctic have been naturally hindered by its remoteness and hostile climate conditions. The Franklinian Basin in North Greenland has a unique potential for exploration of world-class zinc deposits. In this research, multi-sensor remote sensing satellite data (e.g., Landsat-8, Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)) were used for exploring zinc in the trough sequences and shelf-platform carbonate of the Franklinian Basin. A series of robust image processing algorithms was implemented for detecting spatial distribution of pixels/sub-pixels related to key alteration mineral assemblages and structural features that may represent potential undiscovered Zn-Pb deposits. Fusion of Directed Principal Component Analysis (DPCA) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA) was applied to some selected Landsat-8 mineral indices for mapping gossan, clay-rich zones and dolomitization. Major lineaments, intersections, curvilinear structures and sedimentary formations were traced by the application of Feature-oriented Principal Components Selection (FPCS) to cross-polarized backscatter PALSAR ratio images. Mixture Tuned Matched Filtering (MTMF) algorithm was applied to ASTER VNIR/SWIR bands for sub-pixel detection and classification of hematite, goethite, jarosite, alunite, gypsum, chalcedony, kaolinite, muscovite, chlorite, epidote, calcite and dolomite in the prospective targets. Using the remote sensing data and approaches, several high potential zones characterized by distinct alteration mineral assemblages and structural fabrics were identified that could represent undiscovered Zn-Pb sulfide deposits in the study area. This research establishes a straightforward/cost-effective multi-sensor satellite-based remote sensing approach for reconnaissance stages of mineral exploration in hardly accessible parts of the High Arctic environments.
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