IDENTIFICATION OF A ROBUST LICHEN INDEX FOR THE DECONVOLUTION OF LICHEN AND ROCK MIXTURES USING PATTERN SEARCH ALGORITHM (CASE STUDY: GREENLAND)
Keywords: Hyperspectral Remote Sensing, Mineral Exploration, Geological Mapping, Spectral Mixture Analysis, Spectrometry, Lichen
Abstract. Lichens are the dominant autotrophs of polar and subpolar ecosystems commonly encrust the rock outcrops. Spectral mixing of lichens and bare rock can shift diagnostic spectral features of materials of interest thus leading to misinterpretation and false positives if mapping is done based on perfect spectral matching methodologies. Therefore, the ability to distinguish the lichen coverage from rock and decomposing a mixed pixel into a collection of pure reflectance spectra, can improve the applicability of hyperspectral methods for mineral exploration. The objective of this study is to propose a robust lichen index that can be used to estimate lichen coverage, regardless of the mineral composition of the underlying rocks. The performance of three index structures of ratio, normalized ratio and subtraction have been investigated using synthetic linear mixtures of pure rock and lichen spectra with prescribed mixing ratios. Laboratory spectroscopic data are obtained from lichen covered samples collected from Karrat, Liverpool Land, and Sisimiut regions in Greenland. The spectra are then resampled to Hyperspectral Mapper (HyMAP) resolution, in order to further investigate the functionality of the indices for the airborne platform. In both resolutions, a Pattern Search (PS) algorithm is used to identify the optimal band wavelengths and bandwidths for the lichen index. The results of our band optimization procedure revealed that the ratio between R894-1246 and R1110 explains most of the variability in the hyperspectral data at the original laboratory resolution (R2=0.769). However, the normalized index incorporating R1106-1121 and R904-1251 yields the best results for the HyMAP resolution (R2=0.765).