Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




The Eastern Taurides, which form the imbrication and nappe zone in the northernmost part of the Arabian platform, are located within the Southeastern Anatolian Orogenic Belt. In the present study, spectral enhancement methods such as band ratioing, minimum noise fraction (MNF), relative band depth (RBD), and supervised classification were applied to ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) images of metamorphic massifs, ophiolites, and sedimentary rocks outcropping in the western part of the Eastern Taurides (Göksun, Afşin, and Ekinözü regions). With these methods, the aim was to distinguish geological units from each other accurately. In the study area, arid climatic conditions with relatively poor vegetation, allowing for precise visual interpretations, play a significant role. Vegetation and water bodies were also masked before these procedures. In the Göksun, Afşin, and Ekinözü regions, metamorphic rocks of phyllite, schist, and gneiss types, which underwent metamorphism during the Upper Cretaceous and Eocene periods, are observed. The geologically dominant minerals in these rocks include silica, mica (muscovite, phengite, biotite), chlorite (clinochlore, chamosite), kaolinite, and carbonates (calcite, dolomite). These rocks are accompanied by ophiolitic, volcanic/volcano-sedimentary, and plutonic igneous rocks. Due to geological events during the closure of the Neotethys Ocean and continental collision in the area, it became evident that the lithological diversity from various rock groups was reflected in the ASTER images, in addition to field observations. Image processing analyses applied to the ASTER sensor images, rich in short-wave infrared (SWIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) bands on the Terra platform, revealed distributions of clay, sulfate, carbonate, iron oxide, and silica minerals. The highest geological differentiation potential was observed through ASTER 643 (RGB) and ASTER 13,12,10 (RGB) false-color composites, as well as ASTER 456 (RGB) minimum noise fraction (MNF) analyses and, especially, relative band depth processes. Relative band depth processes were employed to identify epidote-chlorite-amphibole, calcite-chlorite-amphibole, alunite-kaolinite-pyrophyllite, muscovite, and silica minerals. The application of these processes revealed lithologies that strongly feature these minerals. Specifically, the goal was to differentiate rock units containing kaolinite, muscovite, phengite, chlorite, and epidote minerals belonging to AlOH and FeOH groups and elucidate their compositions. Moreover, rocks containing primarily quartz and feldspar were distinguished using ASTER TIR bands. The obtained data revealed that mineralogical and corresponding lithological spatial distributions, as depicted by ASTER images, could play a crucial role in geological mapping, particularly in regions where mapping is challenging due to geographical conditions.


The Eastern Taurides, spectral enhancement, metamorphism, ASTER, relative band depth, band ratioing

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