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The NASA-supported Bonanza Project of the Colorado School of Mines and Martin Marietta Corporation has as its principal objectives (1) education in the geologic applications of remote sensing, (2) development of techniques for the geologic interpretation of remote sensor data, and (3) specification of the most useful parts of the electromagnetic spectrum for geologic remote sensing. The ultimate goal is to provide a test site over which to calibrate spaceborne remote sensors and from which to extrapolate interpretations of remote sensor data into surrounding areas. Research to accomplish these objectives is carried out in the field in the Bonanza test site (an area of approximately 10,000 sq mi in west-central Colorado) and in laboratories at CSM and MMC. Airborne remote ensor data, including aerial photography, infrared imagery and radiometric data, microwave radiometric data, and radar imagery and scatterometric data are acquired (by NASA) and interpreted. Detailed ground measurements are made during overflights, and extensive ground investigations to assist in the interpretation of the airborne data have been carried out. Measurements include surface and subsurface temperatures, soil moisture, atmospheric characteristics, and incoming solar radiation. Ground investigations include detailed geologic mapping, studies of physical properties of rocks and soils, spectral reflectances of natural materials, and relation of vegetation to geology. To date, the research has added to structural and stratigraphic knowledge of the Sangre de Cristo and Sawatch Rang s and San Luis and upper Arkansas valleys, and to knowledge of structure, rocks, and geologic history of the Bonanza volcanic field.
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