Earth Sciences Report 2004-02

Author(s) Date 2005-04-30

This study attempts to evaluate the applicability of RADARSAT-1 images to infer surface lineaments that may reflect bedrock faults in a thick drift covered, highly vegetated area, and provide new structural information that may assist ongoing uranium exploration in the Maybelle River area of northeast Alberta, using remote sensing data including RADARSAT-1 Standard Beam 1 and 7 images, a digital elevation model (DEM) extracted from RADARSAT-1 images, a DEM from Shuttle RADAR Topography Mission (SRTM) and a DEM image based on National Topographic System (NTS).

A total of 388 lineaments were identified; these range in length from 0.8 km to 23 km, with a mean length of 5.7 km. Three prominent lineament trends were recognized: (1) east-northeast, (2) northwest, and (3) north to south trending. The RADARSAT-1 images acquired by the Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) are from different incidence angles and look directions; therefore, surface topographic information can be extracted from them by applying algorithms that contrast differences caused by varying look directions and using DEM extraction methods. The processed RADARSAT-1 images contain information about surficial topography, moisture and land cover type; thus, they are superior to optical satellite images including Landsat images in lineament mapping. The methodology developed in the present study, which combines the use of both RADARSAT-1 images and DEM data derived from RADARSAT-1 images, SRTM and NTS, appears to be useful for lineament detection in thick drift covered and highly vegetated area. This methodology is also potentially applicable to other parts of northern Alberta.

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Mei, S., Pana, D.I., Fenton, M.M. and Olson, R.A. (2004): Preliminary surficial lineaments mapping for the Maybelle River area, northeast Alberta, using remote sensing data; Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, EUB/AGS Earth Sciences Report 2004-02, 70 p.