National ASTER Maps
This Australian ASTER Initiative, led by CSIRO's Western Australian Centre of Excellence for 3D Mineral Mapping, represents a successful collaboration between many state, national and international agencies. The ASTER Geoscience Maps are the first public, web-accessible, continent-scale product release from the ASTER Global Mapping data archive.
ASTER is the first geoscience-tuned Earth observation system that has acquired three near-complete coverages of the Earth's land surfaces. These geoscience maps are available as 1:1M map-sheet tiles in GIS format. These have been produced from 3000 ASTER scenes of 60x60km. Each scene was cross-calibrated and validated using independent Hyperion EO-1 satellite imagery.
The new ASTER geoscience products range in their application from local to continental scales, and their uses include mapping of soils for agricultural and environmental management, such as estimating soil loss, dust management and water catchment modelling. These products will also be useful for resource exploration, showing host rock, alteration and regolith mineralogy and providing new mineral information at high spatial resolution (30-90 metre pixels).
This information is not currently available from other pre-competitive geoscience data.
About ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer)
ASTER is an imaging instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite, launched in 1999. The geoscience data available from ASTER's 14 spectral bands is much greater than from Landsat TM or similar sensors, which were designed primarily for mapping green vegetation.
The ASTER bands were designed to detect key mineral groups, such as di-octahedral "Al-OH" clays (e.g. kaolins, white micas and smectites), tri-octahedral minerals (e.g. chlorite, amphibole, talc, serpentine), silicates (quartz and garnets), carbonates and iron oxides.
About the project partners
The collaborative Australian ASTER Initiative represents a successful partnership between the Western Australian Centre of Excellence for 3D Mineral Mapping, CSIRO, Japan Space Systems, NASA, USGS, AuScope, Geoscience Australia and the State and Territory government geological surveys of Australia.