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Proceedings Paper

Thickness characterisation of oil spills using active microwave sensors
Author(s): Michael True; Robert A. Shuchman; D. W. Kletzli; Johnny Andre Johannessen; Gunar Digranes; Sverre Berg; Kjell Dalland
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Paper Abstract

Oil thickness is a crucial parameter in the characterization of oil spills for environmental impact. The feasibility of using active microwave sensors to measure thickness was addressed in a series of microwave scatterometer experiments performed by Simrad Marine A/S in a wave tank at the Nansen Environmental Remote Sensing Center. The thickness of the oil layer was maintained at levels similar to the thick part of an oil spill (0.1 - 1 mm). The measurements showed the capability of active microwave sensors to measure oil spill thickness when the oil type is known. In addition to thickness characterization, the experiment studied the effects of oil viscosity, incidence angle, wind speed, wind angle, microwave frequency, and polarization. The backscatter contrast was observed to be greater for lower incidence angles which indicates that the ERS-1 viewing geometry is optimum for the detection and measurement of thick oil slicks. A thickness-dependent backscatter model was developed which included the effects of oil viscosity, composite surface effects, and oil-water reflectivities. The model viscous effects saturated when the oil thickness was greater than the viscous boundary layer thickness. This explained the observed C-VV backscatter contrast saturation for low viscosity diesel oil at thicknesses greater than 0.15 mm. The model predicted contrast saturation at greater thicknesses for the higher viscosity oils. The data showed this trend but the measurements did not extend to thicknesses which tested the model completely.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 December 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2319, Oceanic Remote Sensing and Sea Ice Monitoring, (21 December 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.197270
Show Author Affiliations
Michael True, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (United States)
Robert A. Shuchman, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (United States)
D. W. Kletzli, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (United States)
Johnny Andre Johannessen, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Ctr. (Norway)
Gunar Digranes, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Ctr. (Norway)
Sverre Berg, Simrad Marine A/S (Norway)
Kjell Dalland, Simrad Marine A/S (Norway)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2319:
Oceanic Remote Sensing and Sea Ice Monitoring
Johnny Andre Johannessen; Trevor H. Guymer, Editor(s)

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