Mineral exploration of rock wastes from sulfide mining using airborne hyperspectral imaging
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SponsorshipUniversidad de Granada. Máster en Geofísica y Meteorología (GEOMET). Curso 2019-2020; European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 776487
Open-pit sulfide mining produces large quantities of waste rock that may contain materials of economic interest. The exposure of sulfides accumulation may also pose a hazard to the environment by causing phenomena such as acid mine drainage. This Master Thesis aims to map and provide a geological characterization of the rock wastes of Corta Atalaya open pit in Río Tinto, Spain. For this purpose, different hyperspectral imaging technologies that have already demonstrated their effectiveness in mineral detection such as airborne remote sensing in the VNIR and SWIR domain are used. This study is complemented with the incorporation of an innovative hyperspectral method, the airborne LWIR. Our approach makes use of a set of different spectral methods, and established image processing routines, such as band ratios, and minimum wavelength maps. Supervised classifications are also employed as a mean to extrapolate mapped rock types to larger unmapped areas, spectral angle maps, and to identify high abundances of endmember lithologies, spectral unmixing techniques. Furthermore, this study will lay the foundations and pave the way for possible future lines of research regarding the Corta Atalaya rock wastes.