Spectroscopy Lab

Spectral Library

Researchers at the USGS Spectroscopy Laboratory have measured the spectral reflectance of thousands of materials in the lab and compiled them in the USGS Spectral Library.

  • The spectral library was assembled to facilitate laboratory and field spectroscopy and remote sensing for identifying and mapping minerals, vegetation, and manmade materials.
  • For many of the samples, wavelength coverage spans the ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared regions (0.2 to 200 microns).
  • A wide range of materials are included in the library:
    • Minerals
    • Soils (including rocks, and mineral mixtures)
    • Coatings on rock surfaces
    • Liquids, including mixtures of liquids, water and other volatiles, and frozen volatiles
    • Organic compounds, including biochemical constituents of plants and chemical compounds
    • Manmade materials, including materials introduced into the environment by human activity
    • Vegetation and other biologic materials
  • Detailed sample descriptions are provided with the spectra, including the results of X-ray Diffraction, Electron Probe Micro-Analysis, and other analytical methods.

USGS Spectral Library

Filter Total Items: 2
Date published: March 27, 2018

Superseded Spectral Library Versions

USGS Spectral Library Version 7 supersedes older versions of the library, although versions 4, 5, and 6 may still be accessed here.

Date published: March 27, 2018

Software for SPECPR Files

SPECPR files provided in the Spectral Library contain spectra along with linked sample descriptions.

Free software is available for reading spectral library files using SPECPR format.