Faulted Minerals

Faulted minerals


The geology of the remotest areas can be studied using satellite data, particularly using infrared light. Here we see ridges of rock in the Keping Shan thrust belt in north-west China. The colours denote different types of rock: the pale blue stripe along the top of the ridges is a Devonian sandstone (between 419 and 359 million years old); the mid blue next to that is a Silurian oceanic sandstone, (up to 443 million years old); the yellow colour denotes a Cambrian-Ordovician limestone, formed in a shallow ocean (up to 485 million years old). Red and orange colours are chemically altered limestones eroded from the main strata. Running diagonally lower left of centre is the Piqiang Fault that has offset the ridges by about 3 kilometres. This image was made from data gathered by the ASTER instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite. 

Image © Robert Simmon, NASA


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