Remote sensing and GIS-based analysis of cave development in the Suoimuoi Catchment (Son La - NW Vietnam)
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Integration of remotely sensed imagery with ground surveys is a promising method in cave development studies. In this research a methodology was set up in which a variety of remote sensing and GIS techniques support cave analysis in the tropical karst area of the Suoimuoi catchment, NW Vietnam. In order to extract the maximum information from different remotely sensed data, the hue invariant IHS transformation was applied to integrate Landsat multispectral channels with the high resolution Landsat 7 ETM panchromatic channel. The resulting fused image was used, after enhancement, to visually and digitally extract lineaments. Aerial photos evaluated the extracted lineaments. Based on lineament density indices a fracture zone favorable for cave development is defined. The distance between caves and faults was investigated as well as the correspondence between the cave occurrence and the fracture zone.