Remote sensing systems are largely used in geology for regional mapping of mineralogy and lithology mainly from airborne or spaceborne platforms. Earth observers such as Landsat, ASTER or SPOT are equipped with multispectral sensors, but suffer from relatively poor spectral resolution. By comparison, the existing airborne and spaceborne hyperspectral systems are capable of acquiring imagery from relatively narrow spectral bands, beneficial for detailed analysis of geological remote sensing data. However, for vertical exposures, those platforms are inadequate options since their poor spatial resolutions (metres to tens of metres) and NADIR viewing perspective are unsuitable for detailed field studies.
Here, we have demonstrated that field-based approaches that incorporate thermal infrared hyperspectral technology with about a 40-nm bandwidth spectral resolution and tens of centimetres of spatial resolution allow for efficient mapping of the mineralogy and lithology of vertical cliff sections. We used the Telops lightweight and compact passive thermal infrared hyperspectral research instrument for field measurements in the Jura Cement carbonate quarry, Switzerland. The obtained hyperspectral data were analysed using temperature emissivity separation algorithms to isolate the different contributions of self-emission and reflection associated with different carbonate minerals. The mineralogical maps derived from measurements were found to be consistent with the expected carbonate results of the quarry mineralogy. Our proposed approach highlights the benefits of this type of field-based lightweight hyperspectral instruments for routine field applications such as in mining, engineering, forestry or archaeology
Boubanga-Tombet, S.; Huot, A.; Vitins, I.; Heuberger, S.; Veuve, C.; Eisele, A.; Hewson, R.; Guyot, E.; Marcotte, F.; Chamberland, M. Thermal Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging for Mineralogy Mapping of a Mine Face. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1518.