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Geosciences 2016, 6(3), 39; doi:10.3390/geosciences6030039

Regional Lithological Mapping Using ASTER-TIR Data: Case Study for the Tibetan Plateau and the Surrounding Area

1
Geological Survey of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba 3058567, Japan
2
Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kevin Tansey and Stephen Grebby
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
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Abstract

The mineralogical indices the Quartz Index (QI), Carbonate Index (CI) and Mafic Index (MI) for ASTER multispectral thermal infrared (TIR) data were applied to various geological materials for regional lithological mapping on the Tibetan Plateau. Many lithological and structural features are not currently well understood in the central Tibetan Plateau, including the distribution of mafic-ultramafic rocks related to the suture zones, the quartzose and carbonate sedimentary rocks accreted to the Eurasian continent, and sulfate layers related to the Tethys and neo-Tethys geological setting. These rock types can now be mapped with the interpretation of the processed ASTER TIR images described in this paper. A methodology is described for the processing of ASTER TIR data applied to a very wide region of the Tibetan Plateau. The geometrical and radiometric performance of the processed images is discussed, and the advantages of using ortho-rectified data are shown. The challenges of using ASTER data with a small footprint in addition to selecting an appropriate subset of scenes are also examined. ASTER scenes possess a narrow swath width when compared to LANDSAT data (60 km vs. 185 km, respectively). Furthermore, the ASTER data archive is vast, consisting of approximately three million images. These details can present an added level of complexity during an image processing workflow. Finally, geological interpretations made on the maps of the indices are compared with prior geological field studies. The results from the investigations suggest that the indices perform well in the classification of quartzose rocks based on the carbonate and mafic mineral content, in addition to the granitic rocks based on the feldspar content. View Full-Text
Keywords: ASTER; TIR; geology; mineralogy; suture zone; quartz; feldspars; silicates; carbonates; sulfates; granitic rocks; felsic; ultramafic; mapping ASTER; TIR; geology; mineralogy; suture zone; quartz; feldspars; silicates; carbonates; sulfates; granitic rocks; felsic; ultramafic; mapping
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ninomiya, Y.; Fu, B. Regional Lithological Mapping Using ASTER-TIR Data: Case Study for the Tibetan Plateau and the Surrounding Area. Geosciences 2016, 6, 39.

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