Lithium Mining, Nevada
The once-abandoned mining town of Silver Peak, Nevada began to thrive again when Foote Mineral Company began extracting lithium from brine below the floor of Clayton Valley in 1966. The Chemetall Foote Lithium Operation is currently the only operating source of lithium in the United States, used primarily in the manufacture of batteries. Last year, The University of Wyoming announced discovery of untapped underground lithium brine in the Rock Springs Uplift. Reserves could be more than 150 times greater than the Silver Peak deposit. The image was acquired 29 June 2013, covers an area of 13.2 by 14.2 km, and is located at 37.7 degrees north, 117.5 degrees east.
With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.
The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provides scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.
The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.
More information about ASTER is available at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/.