Definition: Spectral resolution
Land Use/Land Cover
The spectral resolution describes the ability of a sensor to distinguish between fine wavelength intervals. Remote sensing systems record the reflected proportion of radiation in several separate wavelength ranges (so-called spectral bands or channels) at various spectral resolutions. The finer the spectral resolution, the narrower the wavelength range for a particular channel or band, the better different objects can be detected and distinguished. Advanced multi-spectral sensors, called hyperspectral sensors, detect hundreds of very narrow spectral bands throughout the visible, near infrared and mid-infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Their very high spectral resolution facilitates fine discrimination between different targets based on their spectral response in each of the narrow bands.
Eurostat, "Manual of concepts on land cover and land use information systems (2000 Edition)", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2001