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Table 2 Landsat 5 thematic mapper bands used in this study

From: Estimating the size of urban populations using Landsat images: a case study of Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa

(1) Bands (2) Wavelength (\(\mu \)m) (3) Resolution (m) (4) Applications
Band 1—blue 0.45–0.52 30 Because blue light is absorbed by chlorophyll, this band can be used to discriminate between vegetation, which will appear to be dark, and soil and/or roads and buildings, which are more reflective. Light in this band penetrates water deeply, which is useful for monitoring aquatic systems and for bathymetric mapping
Band 2—green 0.52–0.60 30 Green light is reflected strongly by chlorophyll, so this band is useful for appraising the state of vegetation. There will be high contrast between clear and turbid water, because light in this band penetrates water well, but with less scattering than in band 1
Band 3—red 0.63–0.69 30 This is the chlorophyll absorption band, and live vegetation will appear to be dark. This band is useful for differentiating between live plants with chlorophyll, which absorb red light, and dead foliage, which does not
Band 4—near infrared (NIR) 0.76–0.90 30 Useful for delineating shorelines, because water is strongly absorbent in this band, while soil and vegetation reflect brightly. It is a good band for differentiating soil from crops, and for quantifying biomasses
Band 5—shortwave infrared (SWIR) 1 1.55–1.75 30 This band is useful for measuring the moisture content of soil and vegetation. SWIR measurements can also help differentiate between snow on the ground, ice, and clouds in the air
Band 7—shortwave infrared (SWIR) 2 2.08–2.35 30 Similar in utility to Band 5, but also useful for differentiating between different types of rock formations
  1. Landsat 5 thematic mapper band names, wavelengths, resolutions, and nominal domains. In this study, only measurements collected in Bands 1 through 5 and Band 7 were used. Band 6 measures thermal emissions, and was not used.