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Brad Dalton of the Planetary Ices Group has received the U.S. Department of Interior Cooperative Conservation Award for his work applying imaging spectroscopy to the Animas River Watershed in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
The project utilized hyperspectral observations from JPL’s Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging pectrometer to ascertain distributions of minerals related to hydrothermal alteration and related mining operations, both of which affected water quality in the region.
Dalton’s analysis involved mapping minerals over a 1,400-square-kilometer area using advanced automated spectral processing algorithms. The suite of about 35 minerals mapped included hematite, jarosite, clays and carbonates, which are also of relevance to the surface of Mars.