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Open-File Report 2014–1081

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

An Evaluation of Remote Sensing Technologies for the Detection of Fugitive Contamination at Selected Superfund Hazardous Waste Sites in Pennsylvania

By E.Terrence Slonecker and Gary B. Fisher

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.98 MB)Summary

This evaluation was conducted to assess the potential for using both traditional remote sensing, such as aerial imagery, and emerging remote sensing technology, such as hyperspectral imaging, as tools for postclosure monitoring of selected hazardous waste sites. Sixteen deleted Superfund (SF) National Priorities List (NPL) sites in Pennsylvania were imaged with a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Airborne Real-Time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance (ARCHER) sensor between 2009 and 2012. Deleted sites are those sites that have been remediated and removed from the NPL. The imagery was processed to radiance and atmospherically corrected to relative reflectance with standard software routines using the Environment for Visualizing Imagery (ENVI, ITT–VIS, Boulder, Colorado) software. Standard routines for anomaly detection, endmember collection, vegetation stress, and spectral analysis were applied.

First posted April 28, 2014

For additional information, contact:
E.T. Slonecker
Telephone: 703-648-4289


Eastern Geographic Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
521 National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Slonecker, E.T., and Fisher, G.B., 2014, An evaluation of remote sensing technologies for the detection of fugitive contamination at selected Superfund hazardous waste sites in Pennsylvania: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1081, 23 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)


Executive Summary



Remote Sensing of Hazardous Waste


Results of Analysis

Summary and Conclusions

Summary and Conclusions


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