Remote Sensing and Geologic Structure
Geology is sometimes distinguished from geophysics as being the study of the outside – the surface of the Earth and structures expressed at the surface – and geophysics being the study of the inside of the Earth. These lighthearted definitions are a convenient introduction to what has become the most pervasive and important direct uses of satellite images for geology and, in particular, structural geology.
The value of satellite images for topographic mapping and military reconnaissance was realized at an early stage, but there was virtually no appreciation of the value of orbital methods for geology until the mid-1960s, after hundreds of satellites had been launched. However, geologic remote sensing was given a sudden and unpredicted jump start by the US Mercury and the Gemini programs.
Project Mercury, the first American manned space effort, began in 1958, with the successful orbital flight by John Glenn in 1962. Beginning with the second flight, by Scott Carpenter, the...
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