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Gold explorers relying on RS tech to meet market demand

Canada: The record-high price of gold, coupled with the increase in demand for the metal, as well as shrinking identified reserves is putting the pressure on explorers to discover new deposits. At the same time, gold explorers are faced with the challenge of locating a metal that is extremely rare, and hard to find in economically viable quantities. To increase their odds in finding gold, explorers are relying on the rapidly advancing field of remote sensing, observed an article published on GoldInvestingNews.com
According to the article, since the launch of the first Landsat satellite in 1972, imaging sensor technology has undergone rapid advancements that enabled explorers to collect increasingly more useful data. When the technology was in its primitive stages, geologists used the sensors to collect simple data, such as surface features, and used this data to provide clues to a potential mineral deposit beneath the surface. This surface data was also used as a tool in mapping.  Now, satellites fitted with “more advanced” sensors use the spectral properties of materials (what wavelengths of materials they absorb/reflect) to identify the materials. These sensors use infrared, near infrared, thermal infrared and short-wave technology to collect the data.
Geologists use data interpreted from satellite images to pick out rock units and seek surface clues such as alteration and other signs of mineralisation to subsurface deposits of ore minerals, oil and gas, and groundwater.
The article pointed out that the very first sensors used on satellites were problematic, but the launch of Landsat 4 and 5 in early 1980’s changed the scenario. These new satellites carried the TM (thematic mapper) scanner. The TM system added coverage in the short-wave infrared and mid-infrared regions of the spectrum. Collecting data from these regions enabled the collection of data that could be used as a tool for identifying alteration mineralogy on the earth’s surface potentially indicative of economic ore deposits. 
Source: GoldInvestingNews.com