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Although field checking of contaminated brine sites is relatively straight forward, the ability to field check a large and expansive area like southwest Texas can be time consuming and expensive. A more robust method is needed to accurately quantify brine contaminated sites in a more timely, efficient and cost effective manner. The overall goal of the project was to test a remote sensing methodology to accurately quantify the spatial extent and total acreage of contaminated brine sites in southwest Texas as a result of oil exploration. Landsat ETM+ data of southwest Texas were obtained and classified using supervised classification methodology with a maximum likelihood classification algorithm. Supervised classified was chosen since brine contaminated soil areas have distinct spectral signatures, especially in the dry season, which are easily distinguishable as training sites. Results indicate that Landsat ETM+ data can be an effective tool to use in quantifying previously unknown brine contaminated areas larger than 2 acres in southwest Texas to ascertain the spatial extent of contaminated brine sites as an aid in land reclamation/restoration.


Presented in: the 21st Biennial Workshop on Aerial Photography, Videography, and High Resolution Digital Imagery for Resource Assessment , Terre Haute, Indiana 2007



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