CAPABILITIES OF REMOTE SENSING HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGES FOR THE DETECTION OF LEAD CONTAMINATION: A REVIEW
Advances in remote sensing technologies are increasingly becoming more useful for resource, ecosystem and agricultural management applications to the extent that these techniques can now also be applied for monitoring of soil contamination and human health risk assessment. While, extensive previous studies have shown that Visible and Near Infrared Spectroscopy (VNIRS) in the spectral range 400–2500 nm can be used to quantify various soil constituents simultaneously, the direct determination of metal concentrations by remote sensing and reflectance spectroscopy is not as well examined as other soil parameters. The application of VNIRS, including laboratory hyperpectral measurements, field spectrometer measurements or image spectroscopy, generally achieves a good prediction of metal concentrations when compared to traditional wet chemical methods and has the advantage of being relatively less expensive and faster, allowing chemical assessment of contamination in close to real time. Furthermore, imaging spectroscopy can potentially provide significantly more samples over a larger spatial extent than traditional ground sampling methods. Thus the development of remote sensing techniques (field based and either airborne or satellite hyperspectral imaging) can support the monitoring and efficient mapping of metal contamination (in dust and soil) for environmental and health impact assessment. This review is concerned with the application of remote sensing and reflectance spectroscopy to the detection of heavy metals and discusses how current methods could be applied for the quantification of Pb contaminated soil surrounding mines and smelters.