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Proceedings Paper

Oil spill analysis by means of full polarimetric UAVSAR (L-band) and Radarsat-2 (C-band) products acquired during Deepwater Horizon Disaster
Author(s): Daniele Latini; Fabio Del Frate; Cathleen E. Jones
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Paper Abstract

SAR instruments with polarimetric capabilities, high resolution and short revisit time can provide powerful support in oil spill monitoring and different techniques of analysis have been developed for this purpose [1][2]. An oil film on the sea surface results in darker areas in SAR images, but careful interpretation is required because dark spots can also be caused by natural phenomena. In view of the very low backscatter from slicks, the Noise Equivalent Sigma Zero (NESZ) is a primary sensor parameter to be considered when using a sensor for slick analysis. Among the existing full polarimetric sensors, the high resolution and very low NESZ values of UAVSAR (L-band) and RADARSAT-2 (C-band) make them preferable for oil spill analysis compared to the last generation SAR instruments. The Deepwater Horizon disaster that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 represents a unique and extensive test site where large amounts of SAR imagery and ground validation data are available. By applying the Cloude-Pottier decomposition method to full polarimetric UAVSAR (L-band) and RADARSAT-2 (C-band), it is possible to extract parameters that describe the scattering mechanism of the target. By comparing quasi-simultaneous acquisitions and exploiting the different penetration capabilities of the sensors, we investigate the potential of full polarimetric SAR to discriminate oil on the sea surface from look-alike phenomena covering the full range of backscattering values down to those at the instrument noise floor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 October 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9243, SAR Image Analysis, Modeling, and Techniques XIV, 92430S (21 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2066651
Show Author Affiliations
Daniele Latini, Univ. of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy)
Fabio Del Frate, Univ. of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy)
Cathleen E. Jones, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9243:
SAR Image Analysis, Modeling, and Techniques XIV
Claudia Notarnicola; Simonetta Paloscia; Nazzareno Pierdicca, Editor(s)

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