Remote sensing for mineral exploration in central Portugal

Ricardo Manuel, Maria da Graça Brito, Martim Chichorro, Carlos Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
282 Downloads (Pure)


Central Portugal is well known for the existence of Sn-W and Au-Ag mineral occurrences primarily associated with hydrothermal processes. Despite the economic and strategic importance of such occurrences, the detailed geology of this particular region is poorly known and there is an obvious absence of geological mapping at an adequate scale. Remote sensing techniques were used in order to increase current geological knowledge of the Góis-Castanheira de Pêra area (600 km2) and to guide future exploration stages by targeting and prioritising potential locations. Digital image processing algorithms, such as Red, Green, Blue (RGB) colour composites, digital spatial filters, band ratios and Principal Components Analysis, were applied to Landsat 8 imagery and elevation data. Lineaments were extracted relying on geological photointerpretation criteria, allowing the identification of new geological-structural elements. Fieldwork was carried out in order to validate the remote sensing interpretations. Integration of remote sensing data with other information sources led to the definition of locations possibly suitable for hosting Sn-W and Au-Ag mineral occurrences. These areas were ranked according to their mineral potential. Targeting the most promising locations resulted in a reduction to less than 10% of the original study area (50.5 km2).

Original languageEnglish
Article number184
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Digital image processing
  • Gold
  • Lineaments
  • Mineral exploration
  • Portugal
  • Remote sensing
  • Tin
  • Tungsten


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