Sand and soils southwest of Greeley, Colorado, were characterized
for mineral composition and industrial quality. Radi-ance data from the thermal channels of the MASTER simulator were calibrated using estimated atmospheric parameters. Chan-nel emissivities were approximated using an estimated ground temperature. Subsequently, a decorrelation algorithm was used to calculate inverse wave emissivity images. Six soil classes, one vegetation class, water, and several small classes were defined using an unsupervised classification algorithm. Ground covered by each of the derived emissivity spectral classes was studied using color-infrared air photos, color-infrared composite MAS-TER data, geologic maps, NASA/JPL Airborne Visible and Infra-red Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data, and field examination.
Spectral classes were characterized by their responses and related to their mineral content through field examination. Classes with a minimum at channel 44, and having a similar spectral shape to quartz, field checked as containing abundant quartz. Classes with a minimum at channel 45, and having a spectral shape similar to the sheet minerals, were found in the field to contain abundant mica and clay. Sandy soil was found to have a positive slope at the longer wavelengths; the more clay rich soils had a negative slope. Spectra with a strong downturn at channel 50 generally indicated low vegetation cover, whereas an upturn indicated more vegetation cover.
Mapping revealed a range of classified soils with varying amounts of quartz, silt, clay, and plant humus. Sand and gravel operations along the St. Vrain River, gravel lots, and some fields spectrally classified as quartz-rich sands were confirmed through field examination. Other fields mapped as sandy soils, ranging from quartz-rich sandy soil to quartz-rich silt-sand soil with clay. Flood plains mapped as sandy-silty-organic-rich clay.
The city of Greeley contained all classes of materials, with the sand classes mapping as various types of asphalt. Abundant quartz gravel was apparent within the asphalt during field check-ing. The clay classes mapped silt-clay soils in areas of irrigated grass landscaping, some fields, and roofing materials.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Analysis of MASTER Thermal Data in the Greeley Area of the Front Range Urban Corridor, Colorado--Delineation of Sites for Infrastructure Resource Characterization