Provisional maps of thermal areas in Yellowstone National Park, based on satellite thermal infrared imaging and field observations

Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5137
Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Maps that define the current distribution of geothermally heated ground are useful toward setting a baseline for thermal activity to better detect and understand future anomalous hydrothermal and (or) volcanic activity. Monitoring changes in the dynamic thermal areas also supports decisions regarding the development of Yellowstone National Park infrastructure, preservation and protection of park resources, and ensuring visitor safety. Because of the challenges associated with field-based monitoring of a large, complex geothermal system that is spread out over a large and remote area, satellite-based thermal infrared images from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) were used to map the location and spatial extent of active thermal areas, to generate thermal anomaly maps, and to quantify the radiative component of the total geothermal heat flux. ASTER thermal infrared data acquired during winter nights were used to minimize the contribution of solar heating of the surface. The ASTER thermal infrared mapping results were compared to maps of thermal areas based on field investigations and high-resolution aerial photos. Field validation of the ASTER thermal mapping is an ongoing task. The purpose of this report is to make available ASTER-based maps of Yellowstone’s thermal areas. We include an appendix containing the names and characteristics of Yellowstone’s thermal areas, georeferenced TIFF files containing ASTER thermal imagery, and several spatial data sets in Esri shapefile format.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Provisional maps of thermal areas in Yellowstone National Park, based on satellite thermal infrared imaging and field observations
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2014-5137
DOI 10.3133/sir20145137
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description Report: v, 22 p.; Datasets
Country United States
State Wyoming
Other Geospatial Yellowstone National Park
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N