Airborne Hyperspectral Infrared Imaging Survey of the Southern San Andreas Fault

Friday, 19 December 2014
David K Lynch1, David M. Tratt2, Kerry Buckland2 and Patrick Johnson2, (1)USGS Pasadena Field Office, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)Aerospace Corporation Pasadena, Pasadena, CA, United States
The San Andreas Fault (SAF) between Desert Hot Springs and Bombay Beach has been surveyed with Mako, an airborne hyperspectral imager operating across the wavelength range 7.6-13.2 μm in the thermal-infrared (TIR) spectral region. The data were acquired with a 4-km swath width centered on the SAF, and many tectonic features are recorded in the imagery. Spectral analysis using diagnostic features of minerals can identify rocks, soils and vegetation. Mako imagery can also locate rupture zones and measure slip distances.

Designed and built by The Aerospace Corporation, the innovative and highly capable airborne imaging spectrometer used for this work enables low-noise performance (NEΔT ≲ 0.1 K @ 10 μm) at small pixel IFOV (0.55 mrad) and high frame rates, making possible an area-coverage rate of 20 km2 per minute with 2-m ground resolution from 12,500 ft (3.8 km) above-ground altitude. Since its commissioning in 2010, Mako has been used in numerous studies involving other earthquake fault systems (Hector Mine, S. Bristol Mts.), mapping of surface geology, geothermal sources (fumaroles near the Salton Sea), urban surveys, and the detection, quantification, and tracking of natural and anthropogenic gaseous emission plumes.

Mako is available for airborne field studies and new applications are of particular interest. It can be flown at any altitude below 20,000 ft to achieve the desired GSD.