Enhancing multispectral remote sensing data interpretation for historical gold mines in Egypt: a case study from Madari gold mine
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In the last decade, most of the outcrops around the historic gold mines in Egypt had been damaged by the local miners, a situation that complicated remote sensing-based exploration research activities. Madari gold mine area was no more fortunate than other mines in the region. This study identifies a new integrated remote sensing workflow that emphasizes the spectral variations related to differences in chemical and mineralogical compositions of the investigated rock units and deemphasizes the spectral variations introduced by the local miners. All combinations of ratio images are first generated from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data, then a suite of ratio images that best differentiates between the investigated units is selected, and finally the selected ratio images were stacked to substitute the original image bands in the further processing techniques. The PCA was then applied to the selected ratio images within the stack. Subsequently, a statistical analysis of the eigenvector matrix for each of the PC bands was conducted to select the optimum PC bands and a Principal Component False Color Composite image (PC-FCC) was created from the three selected PC bands. The PC-FCC image (PC3, PC11, PC4 in RGB) was chosen as a result of subtracting the average PC eigenvector negative weights from the average positive eigenvectors weights. Not only was the PC-FCC image used to distinguish the main rock units in the damaged area, but also, to identify the areas with intense alteration zones.
KeywordsLandsat 8 (OLI) Ratio images Principal component analysis (PCA) Madari gold mine Eastern Desert Egypt
This study is funded by the cultural affairs and missions sector of the Ministry of Higher Education of Egypt.
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