Oil spill characterization in the hybrid-polarity SAR domain using log-cumulants

  • Martine Espeseth
  • Stine Skrunes
  • Camilla Brekke
  • Arnt Børre Salberg
  • Cathleen Jones


  • Journal: Proceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering, vol. 10004, Tuesday 18. October 2016
  • Utgiver: SPIE - The International Society for Optics and Photonics
  • Internasjonale standardnumre:
    • Trykt: 0277-786X
    • Elektronisk: 1996-756X
  • Lenke:

Log-cumulants have proven to be an interesting tool for evaluating the statistical properties of potential oil spills in polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data within the common horizontal (H) and vertical (V) polarization basis. The use of first, second, and third order sample log-cumulants has shown potential for evaluating the texture and the statistical distributions, as well as discriminating oil from look-alikes. Log-cumulants are cumulants derived in the log-domain and can be applied to both single-polarization and multipolarization SAR data. This study is the first to investigate the differences between hybrid-polarity (HP) and full-polarimetric (FP) modes based on the sample log-cumulants of various oil slicks and open water from nine Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) scenes acquired off the coast of Norway in 2015.
The sample log-cumulants calculated from the HP intensities show similar statistical behavior to the FP ones, resulting in a similar interpretation of the sample log-cumulants from HP and FP. Approximately eight hours after release the sample log-cumulants representing emulsion slicks have become more similar to the open water compared to plant oil. We find that the sample log-cumulants of the various oil slicks and open water varies between the scenes and also between the slicks and open water. This might be due to changes in ocean and wind condition, the initial slick properties, and/or the difference in the weathering process of the oil slicks.