Date of Award


Degree Name

Physical Science


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

James O. Brumfield

Second Advisor

Ashok Vaseashta

Third Advisor

Ralph Oberly


Atmospheric pollution was previously considered as a 'Brown Cloud’ phenomenon restricted to industrialized urban regions. Studies in field stations and satellite observations made since the last decade revealed that it now spans continents and ocean basins world wide. The objective of this research investigation is to assess atmospheric pollutants in the troposphere and their spectral characteristic signatures by using highspectral and spatial resolution Earth Observation System (EOS) satellite imaging sensor Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data and to find correlations with ground sensor observations. Ground sensor data are imported into a geodatabase for spatial reference. Raw ASTER data are georegistered and geocorrected by image-to-image registration with a known geo-corrected image. Data Fusion, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Density Slicing, Band Ratioing, and Bandpass Filtering techniques are applied to extract features in the ASTER datasets. Spectral signatures in graphical form of the atmospheric features are obtained in ER-Mapper 7.1 geospatial software (ER-Mapper, 2006) and compared both in short wave infra-red (SWIR) and thermal infra-red (TIR) bands. It is observed that the impact of air pollutants from polluting sources are not just confined to the areas under investigation but extend further as pollutants are transported by wind to greater distances. Correlation between ground sensor pollution level and ASTER image pollutants pixel digital numbers are obtained by creating a general linear model in the PROC-GLM program in Statistical Analysis System (SAS) user software. Despite broader bandwidth of ASTER as compared to hyperspectral satellite systems, an excellent high correlation is observed in spectral response of all TIR bands and moderate correlation with SWIR bands of ASTER with ground sensor monitoring in all the three areas, i.e. San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles, in California, and in Charleston in West Virginia. Future investigation is envisioned to study the subtle differences in spectral signatures of air pollutants by using hyperspectral satellite data and nanotechnology based sensors.



Remote-sensing images.


San Francisco Bay (Calif.)

Los Angeles (Calif.)

Charleston (W.Va.)