One of the major problems faced by the application of geological remote sensing is its potential limitation in areas of a temperate climate with agricultural cultivation, limited outcrops and vegetation cover. This was the issue experienced when it was attempted to use the multi-spectral satellite Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Reflectance Radiometer (ASTER) imagery to assist the updating of 1:100,000 geological mapping with the Ardlethan/Barmedman map sheets of central New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Most successful applications of geological remote sensing have been achieved in arid to semi-arid environments where vegetation and cultivation is minimal. Typically, day-time acquired ASTER visible to shortwave surface reflectance derived map products has extracted useful mineral related compositional information in such areas however in the studied areas of central NSW these techniques proved limited, particularly when using large mosaicked products such as the National Australia ASTER Geoscience Maps. Some improvement in geological discrimination was achieved using individual ASTER scenes, masked by high slope angle and processed into spectrally unmixed products. An alternative approach to extracting geoscience related products, utilised, night-time acquired ASTER thermal products. Their surface kinetic temperature products showed some potential for identifying the limited and sparse outcrops useful for field mapping geologists. Overall this study also showed the importance of the image spatial resolution in vegetated and cultivated areas with limited outcrop. Ideally a finer spatial image product than available with ASTER’s VNIR-SWIR combined products at 30 m is required.
Hewson, R., Robson, D., Carlton, A., Gilmore, P., & Moresi, L. (Ed.) (2017). Geological application of ASTER remote sensing within sparsely outcropping terrain, Central New South Wales, Australia. Cogent Geoscience, 3(1), . https://doi.org/10.1080/23312041.2017.1319259