Geothermal Exploration In Pilgrim, Alaska- First Results From Remote Sensing Studies

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Poster: Geothermal Exploration In Pilgrim, Alaska- First Results From Remote Sensing Studies

In an effort to develop a sustainable alternate energy resource and decrease the dependency on expensive oil in rural Alaska, the Department of Energy and the Alaska Energy Authority have jointly funded an exploration project to investigate the Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal system in western Alaska. Phase one of the exploration involves a remote sensing based assessment of the geothermal system. We used all available cloud-free summer-time thermal infrared (TIR) images from the Landsat data archive to detect and map the surface thermal anomalies in the study area potentially related to the geothermal system. We used an image stacking approach to ensure that the detected anomaly was not transient and was caused by a persistent source. Using this surface expression as a starting point we defined an area of interest for a more detailed airborne thermal infrared survey. The airborne survey was carried out using an optical camera system to provide information on the general landcover along with a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) automation series camera operating in the broad 7.5 - 13 micrometer window that provided detailed information on the land surface temperature distribution. The dual camera system was setup using a custom build gyro mount with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and global positioning system (GPS) providing geo-location information. Additionally twenty low emissivity panels were set-up in the field to serve as known ground control points for further refining the geo-location accuracy. Concurrent to the airborne campaign, we also measured spot ground kinetic temperature and air temperature throughout the study area to validate airborne temperature retrievals. Our team is currently processing this data to develop a detail land surface temperature map to analyze the extent, nature, magnitude of the thermal anomaly. We will also quantitatively estimate the systems heat flux beyond the natural radiative heat of the Earth, using an adapted version of Stephan-Boltzmann law. This information will be used for predicting the resource potential of the Pilgrim geothermal system.

A. Prakash, M. Nolan, K. Schaefer, C. Haselwimmer and G. Holdmann


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A. Prakash,M. Nolan,K. Schaefer,C. Haselwimmer,G. Holdmann. (!) . Geothermal Exploration In Pilgrim, Alaska- First Results From Remote Sensing Studies. Poster session presented at: (!) ; (!)