Finding Fossils Through Satellite Imagery

After recent developments, Palaeontologists can now use satellite imagery to predict and identify possible fossil sites before venturing into remote places. 

Edward Davis from the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon through his research showed that satellite data.

Satellite imageries can be used to reveal enormous individual fossils from the air, letting researchers in the field focus on more directed searches on the ground. 

Their findings were first published in the journal Geological Magazine. 

Elena Ghezzo, who led the work as a postdoctoral researcher in Davis’s lab was quoted saying that the method employed here was good at identifying regions that didn’t have fossils in them. 

She said that organising field work could get expensive with all the safety and security risks taken into consideration.  

The team analysed multispectral satellite imagery, which includes not just visible light, but also other wavelengths like ultraviolet and infrared.

Satellite data is being used to do aerial surveys of cities and track patterns of land use and for the first time it has been used to identify fossils.  

The researchers first tested out this hypothesis with the data collected from the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, USA.