Detection of Land Surface Temperature anomalies using ECOSTRESS in Olkaria geothermal field

Agnieszka Soszynska, Thomas Groen, Eunice Bonyo, Harald van der Werff, Robert Hewson, Robert Reeves, Christoph Hecker

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Geothermal systems can be used to produce low-emission energy throughout the day and night, regardless of the weather conditions. These features make geothermal systems a sustainable and reliable energy source, which can be exploited on a much larger scale than it is now. Remote sensing techniques can support detecting areas potentially suitable for geothermal energy production, thereby reducing the costs of preliminary exploration. The Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) can provide nighttime thermal imagery, which can be used for geothermal anomaly detection. This paper presents a method for automated detection of geothermal anomalies using nighttime ECOSTRESS data of the study area in Olkaria, Kenya. The proposed detection method is a kernel-based one, and includes adaptions of kernel size for the cases of large geothermal anomalies. The accuracy of the method is verified with reference data acquired during field work. A producer’s accuracy of 82% is achieved, which is on average 56% points better than in randomised anomaly maps. The possible sources of errors in detection are heat capacity of surfaces, terrain features and vegetation masking the thermal signatures. The high producer’s accuracy proves potential for application in global mapping of geothermal anomalies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114103
JournalRemote sensing of environment
Early online date13 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


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