CHROMITITE PROSPECTING USING LANDSAT TM AND ASTER REMOTE SENSING DATA
Keywords: Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM); ASTER; Ophiolite complex; Chromite exploration
Abstract. Studying the ophiolite complexes using multispectral remote sensing satellite data are interesting because of high diversity of minerals and the source of podiform chromitites. This research developed an approach to discriminate lithological units and detecting host rock of chromitite bodies within ophiolitic complexes using the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite data. Three main ophiolite complexes located in south of Iran have been selected for the study. Spectral transform techniques, including minimum noise fraction (MNF) and specialized band ratio were employed to detect different rock units and the identification of high-potential areas of chromite ore deposits within ophiolitic complexes. A specialized band ratio (4/1, 4/5, 4/7) of ASTER, MNF components and Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) on ASTER and Landsat TM data were used to distinguish ophiolitic rock units. Results show that the specialized band ratio was able to identify different rock units and serpentinized dunite as host rock of chromitites within ophiolitic complexes, appropriately. MNF components of ASTER and Landsat TM data were suitable to distinguish ophiolitic rock complexes at a regional scale. The integration of SAM and Feature Level Fusion (FLF) used in this investigation discriminated the ophiolitic rock units and prepared detailed geological map for the study area. Accordingly, high potential areas (serpentinite dunite) were identified in the study area for chromite exploration targets.The approach used in this research offers the image processing techniques as a robust, reliable, fast and cost-effective method for detecting serpentinized dunite as host rock of chromitite bodies within vast ophiolite complexes using ASTER and Landsat TM satellite data.