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A Teledetective Study of Kimberlite Regions in North America (Colorado-Wyoming), East Africa (MWADUI), and Siberia (MIR)

DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-444-42273-6.50009-2
  • Earth Science
  • Physics


Abstract Teledetective analysis refers to the coordinated interpretation of remote sensing, geomorphological, and geophysical data to define the surface and subsurface character of kimberlite regions that occur in extremely different environments. Study areas in Colorado-Wyoming, Tanzania, and Yakutia were chosen on the basis of their diversity: e.g. elevation (2400m, 1200m, 300m, respectively), climate (temperate, equatorial, subarctic), country rock (granite, granite, limestone), and vegetative cover (montane forest, grassland, taiga). The analysis of similarly scaled Landsat images, drainage networks, and geophysical maps permits the composite character of a given kimberlite province to be considered and compared to other kimberlite provinces, particularly in terms of textural patterns. The teledetective technique indicates that all three kimberlite study areas are characterized by some type of cross-cutting textural pattern where the regional trend is interrupted or intersected by another trend. In noting the association of such transverse textures with other kimberlite regions, previous investigators have frequently cited the intersection of deep-seated zones of structural weakness, e.g. intersecting fault systems, as providing conduits for the ascent of kimberlite magma. The same argument can be made for the regions studied here. The present study demonstrates that transverse textural patterns are a common characteristic of widely separated kimberlite provinces, and may therefore have value as a textural signature in delineating favorable target areas during the reconnaissance phase of kimberlite exploration programs.

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