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Environmental studies of the World Trade Center area after the September 11, 2001 attack

January 1, 2001

This web site describes the results of an interdisciplinary environmental characterization of the World Trade Center (WTC) area after September 11, 2001.

Information presented in this site was first made available to the World Trade Center emergency response teams on September 18, 2001 (Thermal hot spot information), and September 27, 2001 (maps and compositional results).

The Airborne Visible / Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), a hyperspectral remote sensing instrument, was flown by JPL/NASA over the World Trade Center (WTC) area on September 16, 18, 22, and 23, 2001 ( Link to the AVIRIS JPL data facility). A 2-person USGS crew collected samples of dusts and airfall debris from more than 35 localities within a 1-km radius of the World trade Center site on the evenings of September 17 and 18, 2001. Two samples were collected of indoor locations that were presumably not affected by rainfall (there was a rainstorm on September 14). Two samples of material coating a steel beam in the WTC debris were also collected. The USGS ground crew also carried out on-the-ground reflectance spectroscopy measurements during daylight hours to field calibrate AVIRIS remote sensing data. Radiance calibration and rectification of the AVIRIS data were done at JPL/NASA. Surface reflectance calibration, spectral mapping, and interpretation were done at the USGS Imaging Spectroscopy Lab in Denver. The dust/debris and beam-insulation samples were analyzed for a variety of mineralogical and chemical parameters using Reflectance Spectroscopy (RS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), chemical analysis, and chemical leach test techniques in U.S. Geological Survey laboratories in Denver, Colorado.

Publication Year 2001
Title Environmental studies of the World Trade Center area after the September 11, 2001 attack
DOI 10.3133/ofr01429
Authors Roger N. Clark, Robert O. Green, Gregg A. Swayze, Greg Meeker, Steve Sutley, Todd M. Hoefen, K. Eric Livo, Geoff Plumlee, Betina Pavri, Chuck Sarture, Steve Wilson, Phil Hageman, Paul Lamothe, J. Sam Vance, Joe Boardman, Isabelle Brownfield, Carol Gent, Laurie C. Morath, Joseph Taggart, Peter M. Theodorakos, Monique Adams
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2001-429
Index ID ofr01429
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse