AK Applications: Natural Resource Applications
tab_left Impacts of Oil Extraction and Oil Spills tab_right

This MRI supports UAFs current research priorities on impacts of oil development on terrestrial ecosystems, climate change on infrastructure, and the development of Arctic marine oil spill response methods (Alaska State Committee on Research, 2012). The instrumentation will enable quantitative mapping of marine oil slick properties including oil type, thickness and the oil:water ratio in emulsions. These mapping capabilities of imaging spectroscopy were demonstrated by AVIRIS during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

This MRI will also support research on investigating the spectral properties of mixtures of oil and ice that will provide the groundwork for deployment of airborne imaging spectroscopy for Arctic oil spill response.


tab_left Mineral Exploration tab_right

Alaska has potentially commercial quantities of 13 strategic minerals including abundant rare earths and a legacy of ~100 years of mining of gold, silver, lead and zinc. A range of minerals exhibit diagnostic absorption features in the visible to shortwave infrared wavelength region that is the basis for regional mineral mapping using imaging spectroscopy. The MRI instrumentation will contribute to mineral resource assessments of public lands being undertaken by the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS) and the USGS.


tab_left Soil contaminants and Legacy mining impacts tab_right

Imaging spectroscopy provides a basis for characterizing soil properties including organic matter content, iron content, clay mineralogy, and soil contamination. Acid-generating minerals associated with mine tailings also display diagnostic spectral features that can be mapped using imaging spectroscopy for monitoring and remediation efforts. Data from the new HS imager will be used to complement UAF research efforts in investigating the relationship between military training and live-fire activities and soil disturbance/contamination.


University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute National Science Foundation German Aerosphace Center National Ecological Observatory Network Jet Propulsion Laboratory