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Hyperspectral Thermal Infrared Analysis of the Salton Sea Geothermal Field

Reath, Kevin Andrew (2011) Hyperspectral Thermal Infrared Analysis of the Salton Sea Geothermal Field. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    The Salton Sea Geothermal Field is an active 20 km2 region in southern California, which lies along the Calipatria Fault; an offshoot of the San Andreas Fault. Several geothermal fields (including the Davis-Schrimpf and Sandbar fields) and ten power plants generating 340 MW lie within this region. To better understand the mineral and thermal distribution of the surface, hyperspectral thermal infrared (TIR) data were acquired by The Aerospace Corporation using the Spatially Enhanced Broadchannel Array Spectrograph System (SEBASS) airborne sensor on March 26, 2009 and April 6, 2010. SEBASS collects 128 wavelength channels at 1 meter spatial resolution. Such high resolution data are rarely available for this type of scientific analysis and enabled the identification of mineral assemblages associated with geothermally-active areas. This study was supported by field based thermal readings and surface samples. Thermal readings obtained remotely and in the field are also used to better understand the dynamics of the piping and heat flux this system.High resolution remote sensing of this area enables the identification of minerals associated with geothermally active areas and the subsequent use as indicator minerals to discover other, previously unknown, active areas. These minerals include anhydrite and one unknown mineral. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) were performed on one of the samples in order to positively identify this mineral and further constrain the TIR analysis.Data obtained by the SEBASS sensor were later regressed to the 32 channel spectral resolution of the future Mineral and Gas Identifier (MAGI) sensor. At this lower spectral resolution these important geothermal indicator minerals are still effectively identified. Therefore, proving the satellite imager counter-part of this sensor, MAGI-L, would be a much desired follow-on instrument to the 5 TIR channel resolution Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensor, by producing accurate identification of surface mineralogy previously not detected by an orbiting sensor.Work performed during this research has the potential to be used at other geothermal sites to better characterize transient mineralogy, understand the influence of surface and ground water in these systems, and ultimately to identify new geothermal targets for future exploration.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmail
    Committee ChairRamsey, Michaelmramsey@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberSkilling, Ianskilling@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberHarbert, Williamharbert@pitt.edu
    Title: Hyperspectral Thermal Infrared Analysis of the Salton Sea Geothermal Field
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: The Salton Sea Geothermal Field is an active 20 km2 region in southern California, which lies along the Calipatria Fault; an offshoot of the San Andreas Fault. Several geothermal fields (including the Davis-Schrimpf and Sandbar fields) and ten power plants generating 340 MW lie within this region. To better understand the mineral and thermal distribution of the surface, hyperspectral thermal infrared (TIR) data were acquired by The Aerospace Corporation using the Spatially Enhanced Broadchannel Array Spectrograph System (SEBASS) airborne sensor on March 26, 2009 and April 6, 2010. SEBASS collects 128 wavelength channels at 1 meter spatial resolution. Such high resolution data are rarely available for this type of scientific analysis and enabled the identification of mineral assemblages associated with geothermally-active areas. This study was supported by field based thermal readings and surface samples. Thermal readings obtained remotely and in the field are also used to better understand the dynamics of the piping and heat flux this system.High resolution remote sensing of this area enables the identification of minerals associated with geothermally active areas and the subsequent use as indicator minerals to discover other, previously unknown, active areas. These minerals include anhydrite and one unknown mineral. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) were performed on one of the samples in order to positively identify this mineral and further constrain the TIR analysis.Data obtained by the SEBASS sensor were later regressed to the 32 channel spectral resolution of the future Mineral and Gas Identifier (MAGI) sensor. At this lower spectral resolution these important geothermal indicator minerals are still effectively identified. Therefore, proving the satellite imager counter-part of this sensor, MAGI-L, would be a much desired follow-on instrument to the 5 TIR channel resolution Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensor, by producing accurate identification of surface mineralogy previously not detected by an orbiting sensor.Work performed during this research has the potential to be used at other geothermal sites to better characterize transient mineralogy, understand the influence of surface and ground water in these systems, and ultimately to identify new geothermal targets for future exploration.
    Date: 14 September 2011
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 27 July 2011
    Approval Date: 14 September 2011
    Submission Date: 18 August 2011
    Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: MS - Master of Science
    URN: etd-08182011-185744
    Uncontrolled Keywords: geothermal systems; volcanology; remote sensing; thermal infrared
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Planetary Science
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 15:00
    Last Modified: 27 Apr 2012 12:23
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-08182011-185744/, etd-08182011-185744

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