Geothermal energy is an increasingly important component of green energy in the globe. A prerequisite for geothermal energy development is to acquire the local and regional geothermal prospects. Existing geophysical methods of estimating the geothermal potential are usually limited to the scope of prospecting because of the operation cost and site reachability in the field. Thus, explorations in a large-scale area such as the surface temperature and the thermal anomaly primarily rely on satellite thermal infrared imagery. This study aims to apply and integrate thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing technology with existing geophysical methods for the geothermal exploration in Taiwan. Landsat 7 (L7) Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) imagery is used to retrieve the land surface temperature (LST) in Ilan plain. Accuracy assessment of satellite-derived LST is conducted by comparing with the air temperature data from 11 permanent meteorological stations. The correlation coefficient of linear regression between air temperature and LST retrieval is 0.76. The MODIS LST product is used for the cross validation of Landsat derived LSTs. Furthermore, Landsat ETM+ multi-temporal brightness temperature imagery for the verification of the LST anomaly results were performed. LST Results indicate that thermal anomaly areas appear correlating with the development of faulted structure. Selected geothermal anomaly areas are validated in detail by field investigation of hot springs and geothermal drillings. It implies that occurrences of hot springs and geothermal drillings are in good spatial agreement with anomaly areas. In addition, the significant low-resistivity zones observed in the resistivity sections are echoed with the LST profiles when compared with in the Chingshui geothermal field. Despite limited to detecting the surficial and the shallow buried geothermal resources, this work suggests that TIR remote sensing is a valuable tool by providing an effective way of mapping and quantifying surface features to facilitate the exploration and assessment of geothermal resources in Taiwan.
- Ilan plain
- Landsat 7 ETM+
- geothermal anomaly
- geothermal exploration
- land surface temperature (LST)
- thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing