Ground-based Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Mapping Rock Alterations and Lithologies: Case Studies from Semail Ophiolite, Oman and Rush Springs Sandstone, Oklahoma

Friday, 19 December 2014
Lei Sun1, Shuhab Khan1, Darren L Hauser2, Craig L Glennie2,3, Casey Snyder1 and Unal Okyay1, (1)University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States, (2)National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, Houston, TX, United States, (3)University of Houston, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Houston, TX, United States
This study used ground-based hyperspectral remote sensing data to map rock alterations and lithologies at Semail Ophiolite, Oman, as well as hydrocarbon-induced rock alterations at Cement, Oklahoma. The Samail Ophiolite exposed the largest, least-deformed, and the most-studied ophiolite in the world. Hydrocarbon seepages at Cement, Oklahoma brought hydrocarbons to the Rush Springs sandstones at surface, and generated rock alterations including bleaching of red beds, and carbonate cementation. Surficial expressions of rock alterations and different lithofacies are distinct from adjacent rocks, and can be detected by remote sensing techniques.

Hyperspectral remote sensing acquires light intensity for hundreds of bands in a continuous electromagnetic spectrum from visible light to short-wave infrared radiation, and holds potential to characterize rocks with great precision. Ground-based hyperspectral study could scan the objects at close ranges thus provide very fine spatial resolutions (millimeters to centimeters). This study mapped all the major iconic outcrops of Semail ophiolite including pillow lava, sheeted dykes, layered gabbros, and peridotites. This study also identified surficial rock alterations induced by hydrocarbons at Cement, Oklahoma. Reddish-brown Rush Spring sandstones are bleached to pink, yellow, and gray colors; pore spaces in the sandstones have been filled with carbonate cementation. Laboratory spectroscopy was used to assist with mineral identification and classification in hyperspectral data. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) was used to provide high-accuracy spatial references. Principal component analysis, minimum noise fraction, spectral angle mapper, and band ratios are used in image processing. Combining lithological, remote sensing and geochemical data, this study built a model for petroleum seepage and related rock alterations, and provided a workflow for employing ground-based hyperspectral remote sensing techniques in petrological study as well as resource exploration.