Paper No. 8-6
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
AN INVESTIGATION OF REFLECTIVE SPECTRA OF STYROFOAM AND COMMON SUBSTRATES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A HYPERSPECTRAL LIBRARY: PROGRESS IN MONITORING GLOBAL PLASTIC POLLUTION
Plastic debris has had destructive effects on all forms of near earth surface environments, but especially in marine environments. This has been occurring over the past six decades and at a rapidly increasing rate. This phenomenon has caused many environmental issues. These issues include extensive threats to wildlife by direct injury and death, transportation of non-native species which could be invasive species, and chemicals released by degradation processes that can be toxic when ingested or can be persistent endocrine disruptors. Plastic debris consists of many plastics, other synthetics, and non-biodegradable materials. One of these plastic which has caused many issues is styrofoam which has unique problematic issues as it is mechanically weak, has low density, and is commonly bright white and highly visible. Styrofoam being mechanically weak causes it to fragment easily by wave action or by impact with other objects in the water column. Its low density causes it to persistently float allowing it to be dispersed easily on a global scale. To assess the environmental consequences styrofoam has on the environment hyperspectral remote sensing can be used to identify the extent of plastic pollution and monitor changes over time. A key to successfully using hyperspectral remote sensing is creating a detailed library of target or object spectra which is diverse and of a good quality. Here are presented preliminary reflective spectra of styrofoam as well as common or analog substrates in combination with styrofoam. Styrofoam has numerous spectra features which should allow for identification in hyperspectral images. These features generally persist in combination with numerous substrates. Future work on aged substrates and refined contexts is planned in the future. This investigation indicates that an extensive library could be developed for detection of styrofoam in the environment.