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Scientific Investigations Report 2004–5241

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Prepared in cooperation with the United States Environmental Protection Agency

Remote Sensing for Environmental Site Screening and Watershed Evaluation in Utah Mine Lands—East Tintic Mountains, Oquirrh Mountains, and Tushar Mountains

By Barnaby W. Rockwell, Robert R. McDougal, and Carol A. Gent

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Imaging Spectroscopy

Powerful remote-sensing tool for mapping subtle variations in the composition of minerals, vegetation, water, and man-made materials on the Earth's surface

Imaging spectroscopy was applied in support of environmental assessments and watershed evaluations in several mining districts in the State of Utah. This report presents results from a collaborative effort by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) that was the largest operational remote-sensing project for geo-environmental applications ever undertaken by the U.S. government. Three areas were studied through the use of Landsat 7 ETM+ and (or) Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data: (1) the Tintic mining district in the East Tintic Mountains southwest of Provo, (2) the Camp Floyd mining district (including the Mercur mine) and the Stockton (or Rush Valley) mining district in the Oquirrh Mountains south of the Great Salt Lake, and (3) the Tushar Mountains and Antelope Range near Marysvale. These study areas contain several USEPA Superfund sites related to mining and (or) ore smelting/processing activities. The results presented here may be used as a guide for further work on the Utah mine lands and as a template for an approach to multidisciplinary surface studies of other areas of the planet.

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Version 1.2

Posted November 2006

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