Remote Sensing of Artesian Springs in South-Central Queensland

Halcrow Pacific Pty Ltd

We were commissioned to use remote sensing approaches to identify potential artesian springs and use Landsat TM/ETM satellite images and aerial photography to map the potential springs.

The project study area was the Surat Cumulative Management Area in south-central Queensland, and covered approximately 179,000 square kilometres.

Historical rainfall patterns were analysed to determine temporal periods in which springs would be most readily discernible within the landscape. Several temporal images were obtained for each part of the study area to allow for temporal variability in spring expression. Spectral bands and filters within each image, sensitive to vegetation growth and moisture, were combined into a multi-temporal stack for image processing.

Descriptions and locations of known springs were used to identify signatures of springs in the imagery and likely landscape occurrences. Supervised image classification of each image stack enabled identification of additional areas matching the signatures of known springs.

Probability layer analysis, spatial filters and aerial photo interpretation were then used to refine and map potential additional spring locations and assign confidence and landscape position attributes. This project allowed Halcrow Pacific Pty Ltd to rapidly and thoroughly identify and map potential additional spring locations across the study area without having to undertake an extensive on-ground program.