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Lithologic mapping using Landsat thematic mapper data

October 4, 1983

The Landsat-4 Thematic Mapper (TM), with its new near infrared bands centered at 1.65 μm and 2.20 μm and spatial resolution of 30 m has been used to distinguish rocks containing minerals having ferric-iron absorption bands in the visible and near-infrared and Al-O- and CO3 absorption bands in the 2.1-2.4 μm regions. On the basis of characteristic absorption bands, digitally processed TM data were used to differentiate vegetated from non-vegetated areas, limonitic from nonlimonitic rocks, rocks containing minerals having absorption bands in the near-infrared region from rocks lacking infrared absorption bands. Specific minerals were detected in both the humid eastern and semi-arid western United States. The absorption bands in the near-infrared region were used to detect kaolinite in open-pit exposures of a kaolin mining district near Macon, Georgia; calcium carbonate in the back sands along the east coast of Floridia; and kaolinite, alunite, jarosite, sericite and gypsum in natural exposures near Boulder City, Nevada.

These results show that the additional spectral bands in the near-infrared region and increased spatial resolution of the Thematic Mapper provide a valuable tool for distinguishing several significant geologic materials not distinguishable from space using previous imaging systems. They also show that TM data can be successfully used in a variety of geologic environments.

Publication Year 1983
Title Lithologic mapping using Landsat thematic mapper data
Authors M. H. Podwysocki, J.W. Salisbury, O. D. Jones, D.L. Mimms
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Pecora VIII Symposium
Index ID 70112976
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse