Improving geological mapping of the Farasan Islands using remote sensing and ground-truth data

<p>We integrated satellite imagery (Landsat-8) with ground-truth data to produce a detailed and complete geological map of the Farasan Islands, off the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia at a scale of 1:100,000. This new map improves upon past efforts by expanding the mapped lithologies on the islands into four categories. We used different techniques to enhance this lithological differentiation, including band combination with ratio stretching and supervised classification techniques based on direct field validation. The former was used to distinguish differences in reflectance values across sets of bands to create a classification image from typical reflectance patterns. The geological feature boundaries were constrained by open-source high-resolution satellite imagery (WorldView-2) as well as field observations. The resulting map clearly distinguishes between different geomorphic and geologic features, including lineaments and lithologies. As the Farasan Islands are relatively remote and not easily accessible, with an area of 739 km<sup>2</sup>, these imagery-analysis techniques were an effective tool for using remote sensing data to produce new and better mapping products of this important area.</p>