Interpreting sea surface slicks on the basis of the normalized radar cross-section model using RADARSAT-2 copolarization dual-channel SAR images
A simple automatic multipolarization technique for discrimination of main types of thin oil films (of thickness less than the radio wave skin depth) from natural ones is proposed. It is based on a new multipolarization parameter related to the ratio between the damping in the slick of specially normalized resonant and nonresonant signals calculated using the normalized radar cross-section model proposed by Kudryavtsev et al. (2003a). The technique is tested on RADARSAT-2 copolarization (VV/HH) synthetic aperture radar images of slicks of a priori known provenance (mineral oils, e.g., emulsion and crude oil, and plant oil served to model a natural slick) released during annual oil-on-water exercises in the North Sea in 2011 and 2012. It has been shown that the suggested multipolarization parameter gives new capabilities in interpreting slicks visible on synthetic aperture radar images while allowing discrimination between mineral oil and plant oil slicks.