Characterization and discrimination of evolving mineral and plant oil slicks based on L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
AuthorJones, Cathleen; Espeseth, Martine Mostervik; Holt, Benjamin; Brekke, Camilla; Skrunes, Stine
Evolution of the damping ratio for Bragg wavenumbers in the range 32-43 rad/m is evaluated for oil slicks of different composition released in the open ocean and allowed to develop naturally. The study uses quad-polarimetric L-band airborne synthetic aperture radar data acquired over three mineral oil emulsion releases of different, known oil-to-water ratio, and a near-coincident release of 2-ethylhexyl oleate that served as a biogenic look-alike. The experiment occurred during the 2015 Norwegian oil-on-water exercise in the North Sea during a period of relatively high winds (~12 m/s). NASA’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) was used to repeatedly image the slicks over a period of eight hours, capturing the slicks’ early development and providing a time series from which to track the evolution of the slicks’ size, position, and radiometric characteristics. Particular emphasis is given in this analysis to identification of zones of higher damping ratio within the slicks (zoning) as potential indicators of thicker oil, and to comparison of the evolution of emulsion and plant oil damping ratios. It was found that all mineral oil slicks initially exhibited zoning apparent in VV, HH, and HV intensities, and that the areas of higher damping ratio persisted the longest for the highest oil content emulsion (80% oil by volume). In contrast, zoning was not unambiguously evident for plant oil at any time from 44 minutes to 8.5 hours after release. © (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Link to publishers version: 10.1117/12.2241266