The results of lithological mapping using Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data for the Wright Peninsula region of Adelaide Island, Antarctic Peninsula are compared with existing geological maps and recent field observations to assess the potential of multispectral remote sensing to undertake lithological mapping on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Wright Peninsula comprises calc-alkaline intrusive rocks ranging from granite to gabbro, volcanic rocks of acidic to intermediate composition, and arc-related sediments. The reflective and thermal bands of a single ASTER image were analysed with reference to reflectance spectra of rock samples from the study area. Assessment of the ASTER mapping outcomes was undertaken with a newly compiled geological map of Adelaide Island and observations made during recent fieldwork. The results demonstrate that ASTER can uniquely discriminate granitoid intrusive rocks and altered rhyolitic volcanic rocks that display distinctive spectral properties. The results are more ambiguous at discriminating more intermediate/mafic rocks such as diorite/gabbro, andesite/basalt and chlorite-bearing sediments due to the similarity in spectral properties. These results demonstrate that although ASTER data are limited in their ability to uniquely discriminate lithologies they can provide important lithological information in support of geological mapping on the Antarctic Peninsula.
(Received July 29 2009)
(Accepted November 13 2009)
(Online publication February 03 2010)