Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing of Geothermal Systems

  • Christian Haselwimmer
  • Anupma Prakash
Part of the Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing book series (RDIP, volume 17)


In areas of anomalously high crustal heat flow, geothermal systems transfer heat to the Earth’s surface often forming surface expressions such as hot springs, fumaroles, heated ground, and associated mineral deposits. Geothermal systems are increasingly important as sources of renewable energy, or as natural wonders of protected status attracting tourists, and their study is relevant to monitoring deeper magmatic processes. Thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing provides a unique tool for mapping the surface expressions of geothermal activity as applied to the exploration for new geothermal power resources and long term monitoring studies. In this chapter, we present a review of TIR remote sensing for investigations of geothermal systems. This includes a discussion on the applications of TIR remote sensing to the mapping of surface temperature anomalies associated with geothermal activity, measurements of near-surface heat fluxes associated with these features as input into monitoring and resource assessment, and the mapping of surface mineral indicators of both active and recently active hydrothermal systems.


Geothermal System Geothermal Water Geothermal Fluid Geothermal Activity Geothermal Exploration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Research by the authors at Pilgrim Hot Springs, Alaska was supported by a Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Programme (CID: DE-EE0002846; PI: Gwen Holdmann) and the Alaska Energy Authority Renewable Energy Fund Round III. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their thorough evaluation and constructive recommendations for improving this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geophysical InstituteUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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