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Novel applications of airborne LiDAR and multispectral data for high-resolution geological mapping of vegetated ophiolitic rocks and sedimentary cover, Troodos Range, Cyprus

By Stephen Robert Grebby


Practical and financial constraints associated with traditional field-based mapping are often responsible for the production of coarse-scale geological maps that lack detail and have inaccurately defined lithological contacts. Although remote sensing offers potential solutions to these constraints, conventional use of remotely sensed data is only effective when applied to barren terrain because just small amounts of vegetation cover can obscure or mask the underlying geological materials and structures. In this thesis, novel algorithms that utilise airborne Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data and airborne multispectral imagery are applied to high-resolution geological mapping of vegetated ophiolitic rocks and sedimentary cover in the northern Troodos Range (Cyprus) with the aim of demonstrating their potential application to any geological setting. These novel algorithms involve quantification of geobotanical and topographical characteristics that are generally distinct for different lithological units, followed by automated image classification based upon these characteristics. Whilst the algorithms that individually exploit the geobotanical associations and the correlation between lithology and topography are capable of generating maps that are more detailed and have more accurately defined contacts than the existing geological maps of the study area, an integrated approach was found to significantly enhance the lithological mapping performance. Moreover, despite widespread vegetation cover, it is also shown that airborne LiDAR data and airborne multispectral imagery can be utilised to extract detailed and accurate structural information that is consistent with field-based data. Overall, the novel application of airborne spectral imagery and airborne LiDAR data has significant potential to aid accurate and high-resolution 1:5000-scale geological mapping over large areas of vegetated or non-vegetated terrain

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9697

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