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Montmorillonite Estimation in Clay-Quartz-Calcite Samples from Laboratory SWIR Imaging Spectroscopy: A Comparative Study of Spectral Preprocessings and Unmixing Methods

Abstract : Clay minerals play an important role in shrinking-swelling of soils and off-road vehicle mobility mainly due to the presence of smectites including montmorillonites. Since soils are composed of different minerals intimately mixed, an accurate estimation of its abundance is challenging. Imaging spectroscopy in the short wave infrared spectral region (SWIR) combined with unmixing methods is a good candidate to estimate clay mineral abundance. However, the performance of unmixing methods is mineral-dependent and may be enhanced by using appropriate spectral preprocessings. The objective of this paper is to carry out a comparative study in order to determine the best couple spectral preprocessing/unmixing method to quantify montmorillonite in intimate mixtures with clays, such as montmorillonite, kaolinite and illite, and no-clay minerals, such as calcite and quartz. To this end, a spectral database is built with laboratory hyperspectral imagery from 51 dry pure mineral samples and intimate mineral mixtures of controlled abundances. Six spectral preprocessings, standard normal variate (SNV), continuum removal (CR), continuous wavelet transform (CWT), Hapke model, first derivative (1st SGD) and pseudo-absorbance (Log(1/R)), are applied and compared with reflectance spectra. Two linear unmixing methods, fully constrained least square method (FCLS) and multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA), and two non-linear unmixing methods, generalized bilinear method (GBM) and multi-linear model (MLM), are compared. Global results showed that the benefit of spectral preprocessings occurs when spectral absorption features of minerals overlap for SNV, CR, CWT and 1st SGD, whereas the use of reflectance spectra performs the best when no overlap is present. With one mineral having no spectral feature (quartz), montmorillonite abundance estimation is difficult and gives RMSE higher than 50%. For the other mixtures, performances of linear and non-linear unmixing methods are similar. Consequently, the recommended couple spectral preprocessing/unmixing method based on the trade-off between its simplicity and performance is 1st SGD/FCLS for clay binary and ternary mixtures (RMSE of 9.2% for montmorillonite-illite mixtures, 13.9% for montmorillonite-kaolinite mixtures and 10.8% for montmorillonite-illite-kaolinite mixtures) and reflectance/FCLS for binary mixtures with calcite (RMSE of 8.8% for montmorillonite-calcite mixtures). These performances open the way to improve the classification of expansive soils.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 4:21:44 PM
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Etienne Ducasse, Karine Adeline, Xavier Briottet, Audrey Hohmann, Anne Bourguignon, et al.. Montmorillonite Estimation in Clay-Quartz-Calcite Samples from Laboratory SWIR Imaging Spectroscopy: A Comparative Study of Spectral Preprocessings and Unmixing Methods. Remote Sensing, MDPI, 2020, ⟨10.3390/rs12111723⟩. ⟨hal-02641210⟩

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