Issues and Limitations of Broad Band Remote Sensing of Kimberlite—A Case Example from Kimberlites of Dharwar Craton, India


Present study attempts to understand the potential of multispectral ASTER (Advanced space borne thermal emission and reflection radiometer) data for spatial mapping of kimberlite. Kimberlite is an economic rock known for hosting diamond. Kimberlite also has petrogenetic importance for giving us clue on the composition of lower part of the mantle. Kimberlites often contain serpentine, carbonate minerals; which have their diagnostic spectral signatures in short wave infrared (SWIR) domain. In the present study, attempt is made to delineate kimberlite from adjacent granite-granodiorite gneiss based on processing of the ASTER data as ASTER’s spectral channels can detect some of the diagnostic absorption features of kimberlites. But it has been observed that the kimberlites are difficult to be delineated by processing the ASTER data using correlative information of both sub-pixel and per-pixel mapping. Moreover, smaller spatial size of kimberlites with respect to pixel size of ASTER SWIR channels further obscures the spectral feature of kimberlite. Therefore, an attempt is also made to understand how intra pixel spectral mixing of kimberlite and granite granodiorite-gneiss modifies the diagnostic spectral feature of kimberlite. It is observed that spectral feature of kimberlites would be obscured when it is has very small spatial size (one-tenth of pixel) with respect to pixel size. Moreover, calcrete developed in the adjacent soil has identical absorption feature similar to the spectral features of kimberlites imprinted in the respective ASTER convolved spectral profiles. This also has resulted false-positives in ASTER image when we use spectral feature as a tool for spatial mapping of kimberlite. Therefore hyperspectral data with high spatial and spectral resolution is required for targeting kimberlites instead of using broad band spectral feature of kimberlites.

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A. Guha, S. Ravi, D. Rao, K. Kumar and E. Rao, "Issues and Limitations of Broad Band Remote Sensing of Kimberlite—A Case Example from Kimberlites of Dharwar Craton, India," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 371-379. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.42035.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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