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: June 12, 2019

Spectroscopy Lab Hosts Hyperspectral Imaging-UAS Training

The USGS Spectroscopy Laboratory hosted hyperspectral calibration and imaging from unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) training in June.

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.


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Year Published: 2019

Isotopic ratios of Saturn's rings and satellites: Implications for the origin of water and Phoebe

Isotopic ratios have long been used to learn about physical processes acting over a wide range of geological environments, and in constraining the origin and/or evolution of planetary bodies. We report the spectroscopic detection of deuterium in Saturn's rings and satellites, and use these measurements to determine the (D/H) ratios in their near-...

Clark, Roger N.; Brown, Robert H.; Cruikshank, D.P.; Swayze, Gregg A.
Ong, C., Carrère, V., Chabrillat, S., Clark, R., Hoefen, T., Kokaly, R., Marion, R., Souza Filho, C.R., Swayze, G., and Thompson, D.R., 2019, Imaging Spectroscopy for the Detection, Assessment and Monitoring of Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards: Surveys in Geophysics, 40(3): 431-470, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10712-019-09523-1.

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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