Oil slick detection in the offshore domain: evaluation of polarization-dependent SAR parameters
Remote sensing technology is an essential link in the global monitoring of the ocean surface and radars are efficient sensors for detecting marine pollution. When used operationally, a tradeoff must usually be made between the covered area and the quantity of information collected by the radar. To identify the most appropriate imaging mode, a methodology based on Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis has been applied to an original dataset collected by an airborne system, SETHI, characterized by a very low instrument noise floor. The dataset was acquired during an oil spill clean-up exercise carried out in 2015 in the North Sea. Various polarization-dependent quantities are investigated and a relative ordering of the main polarimetric parameters is reported. VV offers the best tradeoff between the benefit of detection performance and the instrument and data requirements. When the sensor has a sufficiently low noise floor, HV is also recommended because it provides strong slick-sea contrast. Among all the investigated quad-polarimetric settings, no significant added value compared to single-polarized data was found.