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Analysis of Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park Using ASTER and AVIRIS Remote Sensing

by Hellman, Melanie J

Abstract (Summary)
Data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and the Airborne Visible/IR Image Spectrometer (AVIRIS) were used to characterize hot spring deposits in the Lower, Midway, and Upper Geyser Basins of Yellowstone National Park from the visible/near infrared (VNIR) to thermal infrared (TIR) wavelengths. Field observations of these basins provided the critical ground truth for comparison to the remote sensing results. Fourteen study sites were selected based on diversity in size, deposit type, and thermal activity. Field work included detailed site surveys such as land cover analysis, photography, Global Positioning System (GPS) data collection, radiometric analysis, and VNIR spectroscopy. Samples of hot spring deposits, geyser deposits, and soil were also collected. Analysis of ASTER provided broad scale characteristics of the hot springs and their deposits, including the identification of thermal anomalies. AVIRIS high spectral resolution short-wave infrared (SWIR) spectroscopy provided the ability to detect hydrothermally altered minerals as well as a calibration for the multispectral SWIR ASTER data. From the image analysis, differences in these basins were identified including the extent of thermal alteration, the location and abundance of alteration minerals, and a comparison of active, near-extinct, and extinct geysers. The activity level of each region was determined using a combination of the VNIR-SWIR-TIR spectral differences as well as the presence of elevated temperatures, detected by the TIR subsystem of ASTER. The results of this study can be applied to the exploration of extinct mineralized hydrothermal deposits on both Earth and Mars.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Brian Stewart; David Crown; Michael Ramsey

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:geology and planetary science

ISBN:

Date of Publication:10/18/2002

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