Spectroscopy Lab


Researchers at the USGS Spectroscopy Lab are studying and applying methods for identifying and mapping materials through spectroscopic remote sensing (called imaging spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging,imaging spectrometryultraspectral imaging, etc), on the earth and throughout the solar system using laboratoryfieldairborne and spacecraft spectrometers.

USGS Digital Spectral Libraries

USGS Digital Spectral Libraries

Reflectance spectra of minerals, mineral mixtures, rock coatings, liquids, frozen volatiles, organic compounds, manmade materials, vegetation, and other biological materials. You can download the main spectral library

Spectral Library

Spectroscopy Lab Archive

Spectroscopy Lab Archive

The original USGS Spectroscopy Laboratory website archive.  Contains legacy information from the Spectroscopy Laboratory including many informative articles and tutorials.

Spec Lab Web Archive

Terrestrial Material Maps derived from imaging spectroscopy

Terrestrial Material Maps derived from imaging spectroscopy

Maps of hyperspectral imaging spectrometer data used to identify and characterize mineral deposits, vegetation, and other land surface features.

Hyperspectral Maps


Date published: April 5, 2018

USGS Scientists Develop New Tool to Determine if Vermiculite Insulation Contains Asbestos

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners have created an onsite, time-saving technique for building inspectors to ascertain whether vermiculite insulation contains amphibole asbestos. The findings are featured in the April 2 edition of American Mineralogist.

Date published: May 24, 2017

Igniting a New Trend in Public Safety

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns.


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Year Published: 2018

Characterizing the source of potentially asbestos-bearing commercial vermiculite insulation using in situ IR spectroscopy

Commercially produced vermiculite insulation from Libby, Montana, contains trace levels of asbestiform amphibole, which is known to cause asbestos-related diseases. When vermiculite insulation is found in a building, evaluation for its potential asbestos content traditionally involves collecting a sample from an attic or wall and submitting it for...

Swayze, Gregg A.; Lowers, Heather A.; Benzel, William M.; Clark, Roger N.; Driscoll, Rhonda L.; Perlman, Zac S.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Dyar, M. Darby

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Year Published: 2017

Spectral properties of anhydrous carbonates and nitrates

No abstract available.

Bishop, J.L.; King, S.J.; Lane, M.D.; Lafuente, B.; Brown, A.J.; Hiroi, T.; Swayze, Gregg A.; Lin, J.-F.

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Year Published: 2017

Oiling accelerates loss of salt marshes, southeastern Louisiana

The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill damaged thousands of km2 of intertidal marsh along shorelines that had been experiencing elevated rates of erosion for decades. Yet, the contribution of marsh oiling to landscape-scale degradation and subsequent land loss has been difficult to quantify. Here, we applied advanced remote sensing...

Beland, Michael; Biggs, Trent W.; Roberts, Dar A.; Peterson, Seth H.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Piazza, Sarai
Beland, M., Biggs, T.W., Roberts, D.A., Peterson, S.H., Kokaly, R.F., and Piazza, S., 2017, Oiling accelerates loss of salt marshes, southeastern Louisiana: PLoS ONE, v. 12, no. 8, art. e0181197, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181197.