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Identifying areas of high economic-potential copper mineralization using ASTER data in the urumieh-dokhtar volcanic belt, Iran

Pour, A. B. and Hashim, M. (2012) Identifying areas of high economic-potential copper mineralization using ASTER data in the urumieh-dokhtar volcanic belt, Iran. Advances In Space Research, 49 (4). pp. 753-769. ISSN 0273-1177

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Abstract

This study investigates the application of spectral image processing methods to ASTER data for mapping hydrothermal alteration zones associated with porphyry copper mineralization and related host rock. The study area is located in the southeastern segment of the Urumieh-Dokhtar Volcanic Belt of Iran. This area has been selected because it is a potential zone for exploration of new porphyry copper deposits. Spectral transform approaches, namely principal component analysis, band ratio and minimum noise fraction were used for mapping hydrothermally altered rocks and lithological units at regional scale. Spectral mapping methods, including spectral angle mapper, linear spectral unmixing, matched filtering and mixture tuned matched filtering were applied to differentiate hydrothermal alteration zones associated with porphyry copper mineralization such as phyllic, argillic and propylitic mineral assemblages. Spectral transform methods enhanced hydrothermally altered rocks associated with the known porphyry copper deposits and new identified prospects using shortwave infrared (SWIR) bands of ASTER. These methods showed the discrimination of quartz rich igneous rocks from the magmatic background and the boundary between igneous and sedimentary rocks using the thermal infrared (TIR) bands of ASTER at regional scale. Spectral mapping methods distinguished the sericitically- and argillically-altered rocks (the phyllic and argillic alteration zones) that surrounded by discontinuous to extensive zones of propylitized rocks (the propylitic alteration zone) using SWIR bands of ASTER at both regional and district scales. Linear spectral unmixing method can be best suited for distinguishing specific high economic-potential hydrothermal alteration zone (the phyllic zone) and mineral assemblages using SWIR bands of ASTER. Results have proven to be effective, and in accordance with the results of field surveying, spectral reflectance measurements and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. In conclusion, the image processing methods used can provide cost-effective information to discover possible locations of porphyry copper and epithermal gold mineralization prior to detailed and costly ground investigations. The extraction of spectral information from ASTER data can produce comprehensive and accurate information for copper and gold resource investigations around the world, including those yet to be discovered.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:High economic-potential zone, Spectral mapping methods, Urumieh–Dokhtar Volcanic Belt
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions:Geoinformation and Real Estate
ID Code:47072
Deposited By: Fazli Masari
Deposited On:22 Jun 2015 13:56
Last Modified:14 Oct 2018 16:21

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