How can remote sensing at visible and near-infrared wavelengths (which sample surfaces to maximum depths of tens of micrometers) map subsurface geological units? Sensed surfaces are controlled by subsurface geology. Gossan suggests subsurface mineralization. Petroleum deposits give rise to surface seeps and alteration from microseeps. Subsurface limestone is evidenced by karst topography.

The Colorado Plateau is well-exposed and easily traced in satellite and aerial imagery by the distinctive pink, orange, and yellow colors of its sedimentary strata. A slightly inane example of the general principle above is that the Colorado Plateau can be traced by the occurrence of U.S. national parks (outlined below in pink; thanks to Lousiana State University for this data): the surface expression of the Plateau is pretty, so there's an anomalously high national park density within its boundaries.

Colorado Plateau traced by national parks