Thermal infrared emission spectroscopy of natural surfaces: application to desert varnish coatings on rocks

Philip Christensen, S. T. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Scopus citations


Thermal infrared spectroscopy has become an increasingly important tool for remote compositional analysis and geologic mapping. Most published laboratory measurements have been obtained in bidirectional reflection or transmission, whereas remotely sensed thermal infrared data are obtained by measuring the emitted energy. Section 2 of this paper describes a laboratory technique for determining calibrated emissivities of natural surfaces. Equations are developed to account for the energy reflected from the environment and to determine directly the sample temperature from measurements of hot and cold blackbody targets. Two methods for determining emissivity are developed: one in which only a hot sample measurement is made and the reflected background energy is removed by modeling, and a second in which the sample is cooled and the reflected energy is measured directly. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19,819-19,834
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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