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Spectral Stratigraphy: Multispectral Remote Sensing as a Stratigraphic Tool, Wind River/Big Horn Basin, Wyoming

Previous HitHaroldTop R. Lang, Earnest D. Paylor

Stratigraphic and structural analyses of the Wind River and Big Horn basins areas of central Wyoming are in progress. One result has been the development of a new approach to stratigraphic and structural analysis that uses photogeologic and spectral interpretation of multispectral image data to remotely characterize the attitude, thickness, and lithology of strata.

New multispectral systems that have only been available since 1982 are used with topographic data to map upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata exposed on the southern margin of the Bighorn Mountains. Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite data together with topographic data are used to map lithologic contacts, measure dip and strike, and develop a stratigraphic column that is correlated with conventional surface and subsurface sections. Aircraft-acquired Airborne Imaging Spectrometer and Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner data add mineralogical information to the TM column, including the stratigraphic distribution of quartz, calcite, dolomite, montmorillonite, and gypsum.

Results illustrate an approach that has general applicability in other geologic investigations that could benefit from remotely acquired information about areal variations in attitude, sequence, thickness, and lithology of strata exposed at the Earth's surface. Application of our methods elsewhere is limited primarily by availability of multispectral and topographic data and quality of bedrock exposures.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91038©1987 AAPG Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California, June 7-10, 1987.