Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 702-718

Resource Exploration

  • Fred A. KruseAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of TechnologyPhysics Department and Remote Sensing Center, Naval Postgraduate School Email author 
  • , Sandra L. PerryAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of TechnologyPerry Remote Sensing, LLC


Mineral exploration Nonrenewable resource exploration; Oil and gas exploration


Use of remote sensing technology to directly or indirectly explore for occurrences of specific nonrenewable resources.

Remote sensing resource exploration


Nonrenewable resources are a key part of daily life. Materials as varied as salt, silicon, clays, and diamonds are used in many products. Metals including lead, silver, copper, molybdenum, gold, and many others are used daily for both basic needs and in modern conveniences. Oil and gas provide power for automobiles and other transportation, lighting and heating, and manufacturing.

Classical resource exploration typically utilizes field geologic mapping of the physical characteristics of rocks and soils such as outcrop exposure, mineralogy, weathering characteristics, and geochemical and/or geophysical signatures to determine the nature and distribution of geologic units and asso ...

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