The LANDSAT (ERTS) project is the most significant mission ever flown by NASA. The use of LANDSAT imagery by the mineral and energy industries in the United States can improve the nation’s domestic resource base in a shorter time and at a more reasonable cost than would have been possible otherwise.

Properly interpreted information from LANDSAT images can save corporations millions of dollars in unnecessary exploration and development efforts and at the same time provide geologic clues to the discovery of tremendous reserves. The more the LANDSAT data are used, the more innovations for their use will be established.

LANDSAT data have broad use in the minerals/fuel field, including the following general applications:

  1. Detection of large-scale geologic structures that previously were unknown and which may be significant with respect to the localization of hydrocarbons. Such features commonly are not recognizable on aerial photographs.

  2. The possible detection of very subtle tonal anomalies that may represent alteration of the soils resulting from miniseeps of gas from hydrocarbon reservoirs.

  3. The potential for detecting natural marine oil seeps with consequent improvement in efficiency of offshore exploration.

  4. Detection on outcrops of important minerals and metals, especially in hostile environments.

  5. The monitoring in Arctic areas of ice distribution and movement that may affect transport of materials, the cost of seismic exploration in sea-ice areas, and the safety of exploration and production operations.

  6. The monitoring of oil-field development and transport facilities, such as the Alaska pipeline, and an assessment of this development on the environment.

  7. The potential for improved communication and decision making within petroleum companies.

    LANDSAT imagery provides the explorationist a most rapid and inexpensive tool which could add immeasurably to his geologic knowledge.

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