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Remote Sensing of Landscapes with Spectral Images
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  • Page extent: 378 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.938 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 621.3678
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: G70.4 .A33 2006
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Remote sensing
    • Landscape assessment

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521662215 | ISBN-10: 0521662214)

Remote Sensing of Landscapes with Spectral Images

Cambridge University Press
0521662214 - Remote Sensing of Landscapes with Spectral Images - A Physical Modeling Approach - by John B. Adams and Alan R. Gillespie

Remote Sensing of Landscapes with Spectral Images

Spectral images, especially those from satellites such as Landsat, are used worldwide for many purposes, ranging from monitoring environmental changes and evaluating natural resources to military operations. In a significant departure from standard remote-sensing texts, this book describes how to process and interpret spectral images using physical models to bridge the gap between the engineering and theoretical sides of remote sensing and the world that we encounter when we put on our boots and venture outdoors.

Remote Sensing of Landscapes with Spectral Images is designed as a textbook and reference for graduate students and professionals in a variety of disciplines including ecology, forestry, geology, geography, urban planning, archeology, and civil engineering, who want to use spectral images to help solve problems in the field. The emphasis is on the practical use of images rather than on theory and mathematical derivations, although a knowledge of college-level physics is assumed. Examples are drawn from a variety of landscapes and interpretations are tested against the reality seen on the ground. The reader is led through analysis of real images (using figures and explanations), and the examples are chosen to illustrate important aspects of the analytic framework, rather than simply how specific algorithms work.

This book is supplemented by a website hosting digital color versions of figures in the book as well as ancillary color images (

Remote Sensing of Landscapes with Spectral Images

A Physical Modeling Approach

John B. Adams


Alan R. Gillespie

Department of Earth and Space Sciences

University of Washington

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge, CB2 2RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Cambridge University Press 2006

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2006

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library

ISBN-13 978-0-521-66221-5 hardback

ISBN-10 0-521-66221-4 hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for
the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
third-party internet websites referred to in this publication,
and does not guarantee that any content on such
websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

To Caryl and Karen


About the authorspage ix
1Extracting information from spectral images1
1.2Field studies and spectral images3
1.3Photo interpretation of spectral images7
1.4Spectral analysis of images19
1.5Testing and validating results27
1.6Summary steps for extracting information35
2Spectroscopy of landscapes39
2.1Basics of spectroscopy for field investigators39
2.2Spectroscopy at landscape scales52
2.3Spectroscopy applied to images60
3Standard methods for analyzing spectral images65
3.1Initial evaluation65
3.3Enhancement for photo interpretation81
3.4Data reconnaissance and organization84
3.5Physical modeling with spectral data112
4Spectral-mixture analysis126
4.1Endmembers, fractions, and residuals128
4.3Fraction images137
4.4Finding endmembers145
4.5Calibration feedback159
4.6Nonlinear mixing164
4.7Thermal-infrared images165
5Fraction images of landscapes168
5.1What to do with fraction images168
5.2Classification using endmember fractions183
6Target detection192
6.1Spectral contrast and target detection192
6.2Detection limits224
6.3Spectral contrast and spatial scale237
7Thematic mapping of landscapes244
7.1Field maps and image-derived maps244
7.2Thematic mapping with spectral images250
8Processes and change298
8.1Process pathways in spectral images298
8.2Reference pathways312
8.3Mapping changes in landscapes324

About the authors

John B. Adams
John Adams worked on early geological exploration of the Moon, planets, and asteroids, and was instrumental in developing reflectance spectroscopy as a remote-sensing method for mineral identification. As a member of the scientific team that studied the first lunar samples, he demonstrated that Earth-based telescopic spectra could be used to identify and map rock types on the Moon. He has used spectroscopy-based remote sensing of Earth to study geomorphic processes in arid regions and to interpret changes in land use in temperate and tropical landscapes around the world. Adams established the Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1975. He presently is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. He spends as much time as possible in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington.

Alan R. Gillespie
Alan Gillespie is a Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he has been since 1987. He has been involved with remote sensing since joining the Mars Mariner project at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory late in 1969. With the launch of ERTS-1, Gillespie switched to terrestrial remote sensing, focusing first on image processing and then on applications, with emphasis on the thermal infrared. He has been a member of the US Terra/ASTER team since 1991, and is responsible for the temperature/emissivity separation algorithms and standard products. Gillespie is also a glacial geologist with a strong interest in paleoclimate. He graduated from Caltech in 1982 with a Ph.D. in geology and a thesis on the glacial history of the Sierra Nevada. Since 1991 he has been using remote sensing and field studies to elaborate the regional variations in the glacial history of central Asia. With Barry Siegal, Gillespie contributed to and edited Remote Sensing in Geology (1980). Gillespie is currently the editor of Quaternary Research.

© Cambridge University Press

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