Challenges and opportunities in achieving global remote sensing of surface minerals
For more than 150 years, spectroscopy has been applied to understand the composition of soils and rocks on the Earth’s surface. For over two decades, airborne imaging spectrometers have been utilized to identify and map specific minerals and detailed variations in mineral chemistry. However, since their origin more than 40 years ago, satellite optical sensors capable of world-wide coverage have made only modest advances in supplying Earth resource data for geologic and soil studies and for mineral and energy exploration. This session addresses issues surrounding the advancement of remote sensing to achieve detailed, global surface mineral characterization, including: large-area soil and geologic mapping efforts, imaging spectroscopy in frontier areas, vegetation-soil-bedrock linkages, improvements in sensor technology, trajectories in national space programs, and other challenges to global mineral mapping.