Exploration Technique: LiDAR
|Exploration Technique Information|
|Exploration Group:||Remote Sensing Techniques|
|Exploration Sub Group:||Active Sensors|
|Parent Exploration Technique:||Active Sensors|
|Information Provided by Technique|
|Stratigraphic/Structural:|| delineate faults, |
create high-resolution DEMS,
quantify fault kinemaics,
develop lineament maps
|Low-End Estimate (USD):|| 300.0030,000 centUSD |
3.0e-7 TUSD / sq. mile
|Median Estimate (USD):|| 850.0085,000 centUSD |
8.5e-7 TUSD / sq. mile
|High-End Estimate (USD):|| 1,300.00130,000 centUSD |
1.3e-6 TUSD / sq. mile
|Low-End Estimate:|| 9 days0.0246 years |
0.296 months / job
|Median Estimate:|| 19 days0.052 years |
0.624 months / job
|High-End Estimate:|| 53 days0.145 years |
1.741 months / job
|Cost/Time Dependency:||Point Spacing, Size, Terrain, Airspace Restrictions|
LiDAR data has been used in geothermal exploration in the creation of high-resolution Digital Elevation Models DEMs, in delineating faults, detecting and quantifying fault kinematics and in the development of lineament maps.
- High-Resolution DEMs
- LiDAR is commonly used for geothermal applications to create high-resolution DEMs and detect elevation changes between repeat surveys. It is accurate to within 0.1 m (at 1-m resolution, 0.3 m at 3-m resolution) and has the ability to measure the land surface elevation beneath the vegetation canopy.
- Delineating Faults
- LiDAR has the potential to aid geothermal exploration by delineating faults in densely forested areas such as the Pacific Northwest (i.e., the Cascades) and Alaska.
- Detect and Quantify Fault Kinematics
- LiDAR can used in conjunction with geodetic surveys to detect and quantify fault kinematics.
- Lineament Maps
- Lineament maps have been made from LiDAR data collected for the DOE-Ormat project at the Glass Buttes Geothermal Area. Lineament maps are a new use of LiDAR data and are not difficult to create.
Places to get data
- Non-military federal government LiDAR data is not collected for general use by the public, so it must be obtained commercially.
- Research-grade, public datasets are available through the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) for no cost, but coverage is very limited.
- Some states agencies (e.g., Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries) have contracts with LiDAR collection companies to collect and provide LiDAR data to the public for the entire state.
LiDAR data are very helpful for the expert in the 3D visualization of geothermal data for exploration and reservoir interpretation purposes. Managers and investors in hydrothermal exploration projects are more used to looking at bulls-eye type images that will tell them where a resource is located and where the best locations are to drill. This can be addressed by taking a particular mineral or mineral assemblage of interest and creating a mineral contour map.
- Chocolate Mountains Area
- Dixie Valley Geothermal Area
- Gabbs Valley Area
- Glass Buttes Area
- Twenty-Nine Palms Geothermal Area