Satellite images, acquired with either optical sensors or radar systems, have proven to be an effective tool both for obtaining geological information and for the detection of areas of interest for the mining industry. This is due to the fact that satellite data provide a synoptic view of the geological, structural and morphological characteristics of the area under study, allowing the detection of regions under hydrothermal alteration, a direct proof, at a superficial level, of the presence of mineral concentrations. Such images can be essential both for the geological mapping and mineral exploration, as they help speed up the selection of areas which are worth exploring in the region under study. The importance of available satellite data becomes even more important in regions of low accessibility and complicated logistics. Furthermore, integrating satellite information originating from different types of sensors (which generate complementary information) offers an efficient and low cost method for the generation of mining targets.
Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey