BUT in the backyard garden or in the
wilderness, weve all seen how plants react to changes in environment.
Too little water, too much sun, not enough nutrients, and normally
green leaves wilt and turn yellow, evergreens shed their needles,
grasses droop and die, new species of weeds and trees replace other
plants that are struggling. In these and other ways, plants can
provide valuable cluessome obvious, some subtleabout
whats going on in their immediate world. Clues that, if interpreted
correctly and combined with other information about an areas
geology and ecology, can speak to scientists about the past and
present and even give hints about the future.
Past events such as clandestine
underground nuclear tests or surface digging that occurred many
years ago could be revealed. Present events such as methane gas
leaking from an underground pipeline, carbon dioxide leaking from
geothermal formations, or chemical run-off in streams and estuaries
could be pointed out. Future events such as impending landslides
could be signaled. All these and more are reflected in the health
and species mix of plants in the area.
Lawrence Livermore sensor
physicist Bill Pickles first began noticing what plants can reveal
after an underground test at the Nevada Test Site nearly a decade
ago. (See the second box below.) Since then, he
has joined forces with researchers at the National Aeronautics
(NASA), the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC), the
of Nevada at Reno, the University of Utah, and Pacific Gas and
(PG&Es) Technical and Ecological Services (TES) Laboratory
to explore and develop applications of geobotanical remote sensing.
Their collaborations use multispectral imagery and airborne imaging
spectroscopy, or hyperspectral imagery, to combine observed plant
health and species mixes with soil and mineral distributions. They
correlate these distributions to events both natural and human
Such translations of the language of plants, soils,
and water are contributing to Livermores homeland security
and energy resource development missions as well as providing
into complex ecological systems such as coral reefs and wetlands.
Members of the geobotanical remote sensing
collaboration and the plane with a HyMap hyperspectral sensor
on board. The sensor is mounted inside the open door and takes
data through a hatch in the bottom of the aircraft.
Getting Details on the Big Picture
Geobotanical remote sensing
uses both plants and geology to understand a region of interest;
it gathers information with systems carried by either airplanes
or satellites. Using remote sensors to map aspects of Earths
geology and biological ecosystems is not new. What is new about
Livermores Geobotanical Remote Sensing Program is that it
combines commercial and national remote sensing systems of extremely
high spatial and spectral resolution with an interdisciplinary methodology.
As a result, it has brought together experts in many fields, including
remote sensing technology, biology, botany, marine science, geology,
ecology, and geothermal research. The team works together to produce
an integrated interpretation of what is seen in the imagery and
verified on the ground during field trips.
According to Pickles, todays
commercial and NASA airborne sensor systems can record 50, 120,
256, and even more bands in the visible and near-infrared wavelengths
with spatial resolutions between 0.5 and 4 meters. Sensors with
such a high number of spectral bands are referred to as hyperspectral.
Commercial satellites have comparable pixel resolutions, but only
image four bands over the same bandwidths. This low number of spectral
bands is referred to as multispectral. High spatial resolution of
a meter or so is essential for geobotanical analyses, he notes.
With a hyperspectral scanner and 0.5- to 4-meter resolution, the
spectra from rocks, soils, bushes, and trees arent heavily
averaged together in one pixel of the image but remain somewhat
separate, or are only partially mixed. From hyperspectral data of
this quality, researchers can obtain details such as determining
the species of individual plants, identifying the locations of mineral
outcrops, classifying clumps of plants, mapping unique soil types,
detecting water conditions, differentiating road types, and exposing
traces of disturbed earth.
Satellite multispectral imagery
allows a broad overview of landscapes of interest. Once an area
has been identified for further study, a plane carrying a spectroscopic
system flies at a predetermined altitude, about 300 to 1,500 meters
above ground elevation, gathering data for swaths usually 1 kilometer
wide and tens of kilometers long in an overlapping pattern. Data
are gathered in narrow, prescribed bands in the visible and infrared
spectra. The spatial resolution of the data is usually detailed
enough to pick out individual plants on the ground.
Serendipity Leads to
In the predawn
light of September 23, 1993, Livermore physicist Bill
Pickles drove his jeep onto Rainier Mesa on the northern
part of the Nevada Test Site. He was looking for any
changes that might be visual signatures of the 1-kiloton
chemical explosion set off in a tunnel under the mesa
24 hours earlier. The shot, made during the international
Nonproliferation Experiment, had representatives from
many countries present.
point of the experiment was to see whether
underground nuclear explosions could be detected,
located, and distinguished from other seismic
events such as earthquakes, mine collapses,
or large chemical explosions routinely used
in mining, quarrying, and civil engineering
projects. It was a worldwide seismic
party, remembers Pickles, who was trying
to see if remote sensing could be used to pinpoint
the location of a clandestine small underground
explosion. He decided to piggyback on the event
with advanced remote sensing available from
the Department of Energy laboratory nearby
at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas. Pickles
was hoping to find any signaturessuch
as cracks in the roads, fences knocked overthat
might detect an explosion set off in violation
of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. At first
Ratio images of stressed vegetation
at and around ground zero taken (a) 12 hours before,
(b) 12 hours after, and (c) 1 week after the Nonproliferation
Experiment shot. The last two images reveal that all
the plants went into shock immediately after the shot,
after which they recovered at different rates. Plant
stress level is indicated by different colors. Blue represents
normal or nonstressed, green and yellow are intermediate
stressed, and red represents most-stressed plants.
glance, the visible results had been disappointing.
There was no obvious damage to anything on the surface
after the underground explosion.
36 hours after the explosion, as dawn broke
over the rim of Rainier Mesa, brilliant autumn
colors from the surrounding pin oak trees flooded
the inside of Pickless jeep. I
drove into the area for my postshot inspection.
I couldnt see anything different at all.
It was very discouraging. So I kept driving
and looking around. Something bothered me,
tugged at the back of my mind as I drove, but
I couldnt put my finger on it.
kilometers away from ground zero,
it hit him as he gazed out the
vehicle window. The pin oak trees
surrounding him were green. The
fall colors that had so dazzled
me near ground zero were gone!
I drove back to ground zero and
there, the fall colors were absolutely
intense, says Pickles.
scientific questioning began.
Could the shock have precipitated
the change to fall colors because
it forced the plants into early
senescence? Pickles approached
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) botanist
Greg Carter with the question.
Carter said it was possible.
The shock of the ground motion
might have forced the plants
to shut down their root systems,
dehydrating and thus stressing
had an ongoing NASA program to make spectral
measurements of plants that all looked healthy
to the naked eye but were in fact under some
stress. He was in the process of determining
which narrow wavelength bands in the reflected
visible spectrum were an indicator of plant
stress. We got the list of his bands, says
Pickles, and found that two of my bands
acquired using multispectral imaging just overlapped
his bands. (The Livermore bands were
30 and 50 nanometers wide, while Carters
were only 2 nanometers wide.)
focused on the relevant bands to measure ratios
of images before and after the shot. The
larger the ratio, the larger the plant stress, says
Pickles. A ratio above 3.75 is definitely
indicative of plant stress in Carters
research. He found a pattern of plants
located near ground zero with ratios well above
3.75. This pattern does locate the area above
the explosion to within several hundred meters.
seemed entirely possible that
the shock wave from the tests
blast could have temporarily
dehydrated the trees. Pickles
and Carter tested this hypothesis
by shocking trees at a large
landscape contractors tree-growing
area in Calaveras Canyon near
Sunol, a few miles from Livermore.
To mimic the shock wave produced
by the shot, which was known
to produce a maximum vertical
ground displacement of about
1 meter, a crew of workers hoisted
trees growing in large containers
to 1 meter above the ground and
then dropped them. Using a small,
narrowband filtered camera, Pickles
and Carter recorded and measured
previsual (before it is apparent
to the human eye) stress in the
trees foliage as the plants
went into shock. They measured
several metabolic parameters
for each tree.
experiments showed the photosynthesis
rates of the trees changed by
the dropping. This finding was
similar to what was seen at Rainier
Mesa after the Nonproliferation
Experiment. In both instances,
the trees slowly recovered in
about one week.
the Nonproliferation Experiment
occurred but two or three weeks
later, says Pickles, yellow
autumn foliage would have been
the norm for pin oaks up on the
mesa. It was pure serendipity
that the trees were thrown deep
enough into senescence at a time
when I could actually see the
These data are processed
by researchers using commercial image processing software such
ENVI or Imagine. Were fortunate that many years of work
by many remote sensing researchers has produced advanced suites
of sophisticated image analysis software, says Pickles. This
software allows us to focus on analyzing the images and not on developing
the computer codes. After all, the focus of our work is on understanding
phenomena affecting vegetation and soil, not building applications.
Researchers use the results
of the computer software analysis and their ground observations
to produce a wealth of detailed specialized maps. They superimpose
and overlap these maps using geographic information systems (GISs),
looking for patterns and relationships. For instance, a map of
produced by geothermal activity overlaid with a map showing distributions
of plant species or plant health could pinpoint the location of
a hidden geothermal source. The variety of maps include those of
geology, botanical species and distributions, known as well as
and hidden faults, pockets of minerals that have been altered by
high temperatures, the effects of carbon dioxide emissions on surface
plants, and more.
Pickles works with Don Potts
and Eli Silver, professors of biology and geology at UCSC who also
head up a doctoral program in geobotanical
remote sensing. The program focuses on gathering geological, biological,
and ecological data over large areas of interest. Remote sensing
techniques are used to create an overall picture of how plants
to changes in the environment, such as those caused by heat, salinity,
contamination, shock waves, and seasons.
Initially, the research
program focused on analyzing imagery for plants under shockto
support studies for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treatybut
it has expanded to mapping soil types, soil contamination, plant
species, plant health, minerals, water,
and water content. The data are used for Livermores missions
in energy technology and homeland security. Geobotanical remote
sensing techniques are also being applied to ecological studies
in Elkhorn Slough in Monterey, California, and coral reefs in
new North West Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef National Sanctuary.
(See the box below.)
developed by Livermore and University of California
at Santa Cruz (UCSC) researchers also have potential
applications in monitoring and setting baseline conditions
for ecologically sensitive areas, such as wetlands
and reef systems. UCSC graduate students under professor
Don Potts are pursuing these possibilities in two projects
that are mapping Elkhorn Slough (a coastal wetland
near Monterey, California) and shallow coral reefs
off the coast of Hawaiis Oahu Island.
zones contain some of the most biologically
diverse and productive ecosystems on
Earth. Over half of the worlds
current population inhabits these coastal
regions, as will much of its expected
increase. Along with the human encroachment
comes increased environmental impacts
and biological stress in coastal and
shallow marine ecological systems, stresses
that deplete natural resources. Collecting
comprehensive data about the extent of
resources and impacts and having the
ability to document temporal changes
in these areas are essential requirements
for successful management and planning.
researchers are using geobotanical remote
sensing techniques to identify and map
environmental stress in vegetation found
around the terrestrialaquatic interface
of Elkhorn Slough. The home to many species
of fish and invertebrates, Elkhorn Slough
is also on the migratory path of West
Coast birds, and its wetlands provide
important nursery and breeding grounds
for many animals. UCSC researchers and
graduate students are using geobotanical
remote sensing techniques to search for
patterns of stress in vegetation. Although
hyperspectral methods have been
used in terrestrial
systems for years, there have been fewer applications
in coastal and shallow marine systems. UCSC researchers
are creating a spectral library for this ecosystem
and systematically evaluating different stress indices
for use with its estuarine plants as well as evaluating
chemical inputs to the system such as those from pesticides
and nutrients. The end result will be maps of vegetation
distributions and stress that will provide a tool for
sustainable ecosystem planning.
reef ecosystems are also extremely sensitive
to changes in their environmentwhether
those changes are natural or induced
by humans. UCSC is using hyperspectral
remote sensing to study the coral reef
system in Kaneohe Bay, on the northeast
coast of Oahu. The reef is subject to
constant change, including natural change
such as large freshwater flows and the
deposition of land-derived sediments
and human-driven changes from agriculture,
grazing, and the ever-increasing urbanization
of the coast. Researchers are using hyperspectral
remote sensing data to characterize the
organisms that make up the reef, including
corals, algae, and invertebrates. The
spectral data are being compared with
oceanographic and water quality data
to look for biological indicators of
environmental stress in the spectral
response. In particular, UCSC researchers
are examining whether spectral signatures
can characterize the physiological response
of corals to salinity, temperature, dissolved
oxygen, and concentration of nutrients,
and they are looking for spectral indicators
of coral health.
Although hyperspectral methods have been used in terrestrial systems for years, there have been few applications in coastal and shallow marine systems. UCSC graduate students Daria Siciliano and Stacy Jupiter are using geobotanical remote sensing techniques to map eelgrass beds in Elkhom Slough, looking at vegetation distribution and for signs of stress. These maps and others like them will provide tools for sustainable ecosystem planning. (a) Red-green-blue (RGB) image of the area. (b) Stretched RGB image with the land masked out. (c) The (b) image showing only the eelgrass.
Keeping Pipelines Safe
The Laboratorys Homeland
Security Organization is responsible for providing comprehensive
solutions for defending against terrorism. As a part of this mission,
the Laboratory has been assessing the nations energy infrastructure,
including natural gas utilities. Geobotanical remote sensing is
one method being developed to detect hazards to natural gas pipelines.
We are looking for ways to identify leaks, landslides, earthquakes,
and third-party incursionsdeliberate as well as accidental
damage, such as the kind that could happen when fields are plowed
too deep, subdivisions are built over pipelines, that sort of thing,
Pickles and Don Price of
PG&Es TES Laboratory in San Ramon, California, are collaborating
on this pipeline monitoring program. The collaboration, which includes
UCSC graduate students, recently completed a pilot project in Cordelia,
California, at a PG&E pipeline site in an area where a landslide
bent the pipeline. (The bent part has now been bypassed with a new
section of pipe.) The pilot project used high-resolution IKONOS
satellite multispectral imagery to see if the landslide area could
have been detected by remote sensing before it broke loose and damaged
the pipe. Results of the project are being applied along other PG&E
pipelines to reduce risk and enhance infrastructure reliability.
PG&E is providing instant
information about new leak locations, site access, leak area appearance,
repair details, and historical site information. When Pickles and
Price are informed of a new leak location, they arrange for low-altitude
overflights by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Ames Research
Center, or commercial hyperspectral imaging providers such as SpecTIR
Corporation or HyVista Corporation. Geobotanical changes are
much more sensitive indicators than, for instance, airborne detection
of methane in a plume that accumulates over a leak, says Pickles.
So far, two areas have been
successfully imaged. One area is on the main pair of PG&E pipelines that run through the California
desert. The leaks there were between the towns of Ludlow and Amboy.
The other is in the Sunol Canyon in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For the AmboyLudlow site, the team had NASA Ames acquire spectroscopic
data in 50 spectral bands, including in thermal infrared and infrared
portions of the spectrum, in bandwidths of a few nanometers, and
at a spatial resolution of 3 meters. They then used the resulting
imagery to map species types, plant health within species types,
soil types, and soil conditions.
A Pacific Gas & Electric worker points
to one of the discovered leaks in the exposed pipe.
PG&Es failure analysis showed that the Ludlow and Amboy
leaks occurred in the original welds of the pipeline when it was
buried nearly 40 years ago. The area and vegetation has been
subject to 40 years of methane leakage, says Pickles. You
can tell when you go into the Amboy area on foot that theres
something going on. The plants in the vicinity of these leaks look
In the Sunol leak, the failure
was much more recent and of shorter duration. Although only leaking
for a few months, the grass above
the leak was clearly in stress and looked brown compared with the
surrounding vegetation. Pickles and Price are currently analyzing
hyperspectral imagery acquired by SpecTIR within three days of
leak being noticed to see if the brown spot is visible in the images.
Pickles says that the technique
shows promise for continuous, real-time monitoring of the pipelines.
The detail we pick up cant be obtained by satellite imagery
yet. Basically, our approach provides an alert that something is up,
something that requires a closer look. Where to look is important
to utilities like PG&E because in California alone there are some
12,000 miles of transmission gas pipelines to monitor.
Three views of a pipeline leak. (a) Minimum
noise fraction (MNF) transformation in pseudo-color, showing
leak area west of Ludlow, California. (b) Using different
MNF transformed bands emphasizes features differently and
is a common technique for sorting out what is seen in the
imagery. (c) A true color, three-band image at 3-meter resolution.
Uncovering Geothermal Sources
Geobotanical remote sensing
is also being used to support the DOE mission to discover new hidden
geothermal resources that could be used as energy sources. This
application got its start in 1996, when Livermores geothermal
program funded a team that included Pickles, Silver, Potts, and
UCSC graduate student Brigette Martini to see if geobotanical remote
sensing could identify plants stressed by geothermal activity. If
you hike into a geothermally active area and look around at the
vegetation growing there, says Pickles, youll
see that some of the plants are not doing well. Some species might
be struggling. Otherswhich youd expect to find in the
regionare completely absent, yet other species are flourishing.
We wondered if we could go into an area where the geothermal activity
isnt so obvious and check plants for geothermal stress, thereby
tracking down geothermal resources.
The team decided to focus
on southern Californias Mammoth Mountain located on the western
rim of the much larger Long Valley Calderaan area well known
for its geothermal volatility, with many hot springs and fumaroles.
One of three active calderas within the contiguous U.S., Long Valley
has witnessed periodic volcanic degassing and increased seismic
activity over the past 20 years.
The Horseshoe Lake region
located on the southeast flank of Mammoth Mountain was the teams
specific focus. In May 1990, a year after a six-month swarm of earthquakes,
dead trees were seen in increasingly large numbers at this site.
In 1994, soil gas measurements made by the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) proved that the trees had been asphyxiated by an enormous
quantity of carbon dioxide in the ground. In some cases, up to 90
percent of the gas measured in the soil was carbon dioxide, compared
with less than 1-percent concentrations in soils outside the tree-kill
areas. Carbon dioxide is outgassed by geothermal systems, and the
trees died because of geothermal stress. The tree-kill area was
a good place to see if hyperspectral images would corroborate the
USGS measurements and be a good detector of geothermal resources.
Martini received her Ph.D.
in December 2002 from UCSC. Under advisers Silver and Potts, her
thesis was on the Long Valley Caldera and Mammoth Mountain system.
As part of the thesis, Martini used low-altitude, high-resolution
hyperspectral imagery to map altered minerals, hidden faults, and
the tree-kill areas of Mammoth Mountain. She extracted spectral
signatures of healthy robust trees, dead trees, and physiologically
stressed trees from the imagery and used it in several mapping schemes.
She was able to characterize geothermal activity along the Long
Valley fault lines by detecting the release of carbon dioxide and
identifying areas where carbon dioxide was coming out of the ground
in measurable amounts.
(a) Spectral signatures of quantitative stages of tree health. These signatures were used to produce (b), a map of tree health in and around the tree-kill area, using the same spectral colors.
When she compared her mapping
of carbon dioxide leakage areas with those measured on the ground
by John Rogie of USGS at Menlo Park, the agreement was, notes Pickles,
remarkable. Her results show that hyperspectral data can provide
accurate geologic and biological information about a geothermal
system quickly and without a host of ground-based monitoring programs.
Says Pickles, Martini showed that when we move away from the
center of the tree-kill area, plant health improves as we get further
away. She discovered that it was possible to spot carbon dioxide
leaks that were not previously mapped. (For more information
about Martinis work, see www.es.ucsc.edu/
The part of the collaboration
dealing with the geothermal exploration project has expanded to
include the University of Nevada at Reno and the University of
It is now using geobotanical remote sensing techniques to look
for possible new geothermal sites in many places in the western
The expanded collaboration
is funded by a DOE program that has the goal of dramatically increasing
the use of geothermal energy in the western U.S. To accomplish
goal requires identifying and locating new geothermal fields that
could potentially be used to produce electric power. In the past,
geothermal fields have mostly been discovered by their characteristic
surface effluentssprings and fumaroles, for instance.
Most of these fields in
the western U.S. are now well catalogued. But questions remain
as to whether there are a large number of currently
undetected hidden thermal systems, systems that have little outflow
to the surface, and whether there are large resources that are
in the known fields. Geobotanical remote sensing images
in the visible and near-infrared spectra have proved successful
in mapping subtle geobotanical surface clues that could lead to
such discoveries. Currently, geothermal exploration projects are
being conducted with newly acquired hyperspectral imagery of the
Dixie Meadows and Fish Lake Valley fields in Nevada.
Valley Caldera mapped with HyVista 3-meter hyperspectral imagery,
showing tree-kill areas and the high-temperature mineralization
that marks historical geothermal effluents.
Watching Sequestered Carbon
As fossil fuel burning and
tropical deforestation cause more carbon dioxide to make its way
into the atmosphere, the U.S. and other nations are researching
strategies to capture excess carbon dioxide and inject it into appropriate
underground formations. Once there, it would either remain sequestered
from the atmosphere for thousands of years or be available for near-term
industrial use. Livermore has been involved in carbon sequestration
research in a number of ways, such as developing criteria for identifying
subsurface geologic formations that could be used for carbon dioxide
storage. (See S&TR, December 2000, A
Solution for Carbon Dioxide Overload.) Livermores
geobotanical remote sensing technique has also emerged as a primary,
region-wide, early warning system for detecting carbon dioxide leaking
from underground formations where it has been sequestered. Pickles
explains, This was a natural outgrowth of our work on looking
for geothermal resources since we also would be monitoring the vegetation
on the surface above. But instead of looking for any plant response
to a geothermal resource, wed be looking for carbon dioxide
leaking from a reservoir to the surface.
mapping results at Horseshoe Lake (HSL) using 3-meter hyperspectral
imagery. (a) The Horseshoe Lake tree-kill mapping results.
The lightest shades represent transitional zones, while the
show the present boundaries of dead populations. (b) Hyperspectral-based
size estimates of the tree kills compared with contours of
average carbon dioxide emissions measured on the ground by
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) over several years.
The Laboratorys geobotanical
remote sensing program is contributing to the Storage, Monitoring,
and Verification task force for the Carbon Capture Project (CCP),
an international effort funded by international energy companies
and a number of governments. The goal of the project is to reduce
carbon emissions and contribute toward a sustainable, environmentally
acceptable, and competitively priced energy supply for the world.
Among other efforts, the project is developing technologies to reduce
the cost of capturing carbon dioxide from combustion sources and
safely store it underground, where it can then be retrieved as needed.
As Pickles notes, carbon dioxide has a value. It can be pumped into
a geologic formation to promote increased oil flow and enhance oil
recovery. Carbon dioxide is also an important industrial component
used in making dry ice and in various chemical processes. (For more
about the CCP, go to www.co2captureproject.org/.)
images provide distinctive spectral shapes that allow identification
of mineral types, clay soil types, plant species, plant health
within species types, and hot and cold spring microorganisms.
These spectra are from Mammoth Mountain–Long Valley hyperspectral
imagery but are representative of most areas.
Livermore and UCSC researchers
are testing their remote sensing techniques at the Rangely, Colorado,
Enhanced Oil Recovery field.
They hope to detect and discriminate hidden faults, establish geobotanical
baselines, and look for effects of leaking carbon dioxide on plants
and microorganisms in soil and water from low-altitude airborne
hyperspectral imagery. Armed with on-the-ground carbon dioxide
maps for plant species at Mammoth Mountain and high-resolution
remote imagery of the same area, Martini established a semiquantitative
relationship between plant health and amounts of average carbon
dioxide emission. The team then acquired high-spatial-resolution
imagery of the Rangely oil field in August 2002 and conducted an
on-the-ground study of Rangely in collaboration with Ron Klusman,
a professor from the Colorado School of Mines. Pickles and UCSC
graduate student Wendy Cover are now analyzing the imagery and
to map signatures of carbon dioxide leakage, plant species, and
soil types. Preliminary results show some interesting plant and
Pickles, Cover, Potts and
Charles Christopher of British Petroleum-America, the CCP manager
for this research, will return to the Rangeley field
in June to check their interpretation of the imagery analysis,
make more carbon dioxide measurements on the ground, and make detailed
spectral measurements of special features. The next steps are to
produce detailed geobotanical maps and maps of hidden faults, start
some continuous carbon dioxide monitoring at potential leak points,
and begin connecting surface features to subsurface modeling and
existing oil field data.
The goal, says Pickles,
is to develop a technique where a leak from an underground carbon
dioxide reservoir could be detected quickly
and dealt with. Suppose an earthquake happens, and an underground
carbon dioxide reservoir forms a crack. Carbon dioxide would then
begin to appear at the surface. Pickles says. Ideally,
we would quickly see something strange going on in the vegetation
above the fractured area. We would have already mapped out hidden
faults and know about the earthquake. We would provide the early
warning, so that a team could go out into the field, monitor the
area, and remediate as necessary. Successful carbon sequestration
involves many aspects; we provide the vigilance that will keep it
(a) One line of hyperspectral imagery of
the town of Rangely, Colorado. This image is shown (b) closer
and (c) even closer. Note in (c) that the resolution is good
enough to see cars on Main Street. The imagery is useful
for learning how to prepare geobotanical maps of carbon dioxide
leakage under towns.
Focusing at Ground Level
The geobotanical remote sensing program has come a long way and
developed in many different directions from its initial beginnings.
From providing early warning on pipeline infrastructure to geothermal
energy to carbon sequestering and charting delicate ecological systems,
the program has thrived on synergy. As remote sensing techniques
improve, bringing better spatial and wavelength resolution, field
work requirements have been minimized. In the end, its the
unique point of view of the researchers that brings the real power
to this program.
At first, people were skeptical. Being able to sort out events
from plant health was just a little hard for some folks to swallow,
says Pickles. But time has proven that high-resolution geobotanical
imaging really works. It provides a complete picture and history.
If you can learn how to read the signs, nature will tell you everything
you need to know.
Key Words: carbon sequestration, Elkhorn Slough, energy infrastructure,
geobotanical remote sensing, geothermal energy, homeland security,
Mammoth Mountain, Nonproliferation Experiment.
For further information contact Bill Pickles (925) 422-7812 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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