Skip to Main Content
This research examined the spectral response of poplar (Populus deltoides, Populus trichocarpa), wheat (Triticum aestivum), and canola (Brassica napus) leaves subjected to fumigation with gaseous phase toxic industrial chemical gases (TICs). The gases include ammonia (NH3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), chlorine (Cl2), and hydrogen cyanide (HCN). This study aimed to determine if: (1) vegetation subjected to TICs could be distinguished from background vegetation during varying growth stages and environmental stresses; and, (2) different TICs could be distinguished based on the spectral response of vegetation. The results showed that both environmental and TICs induced similar spectral features inherent to plants, which are related primarily to chlorophyll and water loss. These features include pigments in the visible and cellulose, lignin, lipids starches, and sugars in the SWIR. Although no specific spectral features could be tied to individual TICs an analysis of the data using vegetation indices showed that the TICs and environmental stresses result in diagnostic trends from healthy mature to highly stressed leaves. In addition combinations of specific indices could be used to distinguish the effects of NH3, SO2, Cl2 and their effect from that of other treatments of the study. The continued goal for this research program is to develop a remote detection capability for hazardous events such as a toxic gas leak. Our findings at the leaf level suggest that damage can be detected within 48 hrs and should last for an extended period. Thus, the next experimental step is to test if the results shown here at the leaf level can also be detected with airborne and satellites systems.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:5 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: April 2012