No. 30 (2008)

Applicability of hyperspectral technology for in situ phytoremediation

Published October 10, 2008
Attila Nagy
Debreceni Egyetem Agrár- és Műszaki Tudományok Centruma, Mezőgazdaságtudományi Kar, Víz- és Környezetgazdálkodási Tanszék, Debrecen
János Tamás
Debreceni Egyetem Agrár- és Műszaki Tudományok Centruma, Mezőgazdaságtudományi Kar, Víz- és Környezetgazdálkodási Tanszék, Debrecen


Nagy, A., & Tamás, J. (2008). Applicability of hyperspectral technology for in situ phytoremediation. Acta Agraria Debreceniensis, (30), 71-78.

The characterization of heavy metal polluted abandoned mining sites is a complicated assignment due to the variable spatial distribution of the pollutants, therefore complex integrated method is required in order to assess precisely the amount and the distribution of the contaminants. The examined area is flotation sludge reservoir of abandoned Pb-Zn mining site with serious heavy metal contamination. located in Gyöngyösoroszi, Northern Hungary.
The hyperspectral image of the flotation sludge is obtained by using a Digital Airborne Imaging Spectrometer DAIS 7915, in the frame of DLR HySens first Hungarian hyperspectral flight campaign (21/08/2002). Parallel to the flight campaign heavy metal content of soil samples were examined from the area of the flotation sludge. The analysis of hyperspectral data was verified by the examination of mine tailing samples by FPXRF (Field Portable X-ray Fluorescence spectrometry) (NITON XL-703).
Determinations of heavy metal containing minerals are based on the spectral profiles of the pixels of the area with using USGIS standard spectral profiles of the examined materials (galena, pyrite, sphalerite, goethite and jarosit).

Applying the Spectral Angle Mapper with BandMax classification the distribution of minerals (galena, pyrite, sphalerite, goethite, jarosit) in the area was defined. The mineral formation occurs especially at the levees and the barren places of the Szárazvölgyi flotation sludge reservoir. Based on the statistic results of the samples, principal component analysis and correlation coefficient between the different metal content of the samples were calculated. The highest correlations were found between Pb-Zn, Fe-Zn and between Fe-Pb. This prove the results of the principal component analysis, where usually Pb, Zn, Fe introduce the main component.

Canopy analysis was also carried out with the hyperspectal image in order to classify the differences between vegetation types at the Szárazvölgy flotation sludge reservoir and analyse the applicability of it. Supervised classification methods were used to distinguish 8 vegetation types based on the spectral properties of the area. The results of the classifications were compared to a ground truth image, based on ortophoto, topographic map, and GPS based field data collection. According to results of the comparison, the paralellpiped classification method is proved to be appropriate method based on the overall accuracy of canopy classification, which was 54% due to heterogeneity of the vegetation. 

The results of hyperspectral data and FPXRF analysis suggest that Pb, Zn and Fe containing minerals have similar spatial distribution in the examined and barren area.

Based on this study hyperspectral remote sensing is likely to be an effective tool for the characterization and modeling the distribution of Pb, Zn and Fe containing minerals at the examined heavy metal polluted sites. Further more, based on the vegetation analysis plant species for phytoremediation can be defined.


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