Exercise 3: The geographical setting of the accident
Andean landscape in Argentina
The objective of this activity is to investigate the place where the accident occurred, and to find an escape route to the nearest populated area.
The resources you will need are the following :
- Landsat_232_233_84_321.tif and Landsat_232_233_84_453.tif . They are a section of a Landsat data mosaic in full resolution, acquired on 2 November 2000, and on r 26 Dec. 1999. The images are two separate band combinations of this mosaic: 321 natural colour and 453 false colour infrared.
- Annotated MERIS image (MERIS_FR_20070318_321_annotated.tif or MERIS_FR_20070318_432_annotated.tif) or the GIS files “Flight Track” and “Location of Accident”, generated in the Exercise 1
- LEOWorks image processing software
Using Landsat satellite data, we will now look at the landscape surrounding the area where the plane crashed. Landsat data has 28.5m pixel spacing, and provides detailed images, while MERIS data has 300m pixel spacing, providing less detail but a much larger view.
Open band combination Landsat_232_233_84_321. (natural colour image) and Landsat_232_233_84_453.tif (false-colour infrared image).
Use Interactive Stretching for the individual bands and produce contrast-enhanced colour images.
Concentrate on the natural colour image. Explore the scene. Look for signs of human settlements, field texture and roads. Do this for the mountainous area as well. Observe the high mountain zone with deeply incised valleys and but the wide, U-shaped valleys at a higher altitude. Snow is very prominent in the highest parts.
1. Can you spot some glaciers? There is a huge glacier tongue in this area. Find it and describe it.
When it lost control, the aircraft hit a mountain crest, lost its tail and then both its wings. The fuselage crashed down and ended up in position: 34°45'39"S 70°17'38"W.
Look at the satellite image. Using the cursor position, see if you can find where the plane hit the rocks, and where the body of the plane ended up after crashing and sliding down the mountain slope.
Use the formerly produced annotated MERIS image or the GIS files displayed on the Landsat image to help you.
(In LEOWorks4 apply Window-Tile Horizontally and click on “Syncronized cursor position”).