Hydrothermal monitoring in Yellowstone National Park using airborne thermal infrared remote sensing

C. M.U. Neale, C. Jaworowski, H. Heasler, S. Sivarajan, A. Masih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper describes the image acquisition and processing methodology, including surface emissivity and atmospheric corrections, for generating surface temperatures of two active hydrothermal systems in Yellowstone National Park. Airborne thermal infrared (8–12 μm) images were obtained annually from 2007 to 2012 using a FLIR SC640 thermal infrared camera system. Thermal infrared image acquisitions occurred under clear-sky conditions after sunset to meet the objective of providing high-spatial resolution, georectified imagery for hydrothermal monitoring. Comparisons of corrected radiative temperature maps with measured ground and water kinetic temperatures at flight times provided an assessment of temperature accuracy. A repeatable, time-sequence of images for Hot Spring Basin (2007–2012) and Norris Geyser Basin (2008–2012) documented fracture-related changes in temperature and fluid flow for both hydrothermal systems, highlighting the utility of methods for synoptic monitoring of Yellowstone National Park's hydrothermal systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-644
Number of pages17
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Airborne thermal infrared remote sensing
  • Emissivity
  • Hydrothermal systems
  • Yellowstone National Park

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Geology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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