DARK SPOT DETECTION USING INTENSITY AND THE DEGREE OF POLARIZATION IN FULLY POLARIMETRIC SAR IMAGES FOR OIL POLUTION MONITORING
Keywords: Polarimetry, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Oil pollution, Degree of polarization, Dark-spot detection
Abstract. Oil spill surveillance is of great environmental and economical interest, directly contributing to improve environmental protection. Monitoring of oil spills using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has received a considerable attention over the past few years, notably because of SAR data abilities like all-weather and day-and-night capturing. The degree of polarization (DoP) is a less computationally complex quantity characterizing a partially polarized electromagnetic field. The key to the proposed approach is making use of DoP as polarimetric information besides intensity ones to improve dark patches detection as the first step of oil spill monitoring. In the proposed approach first simple intensity threshold segmentation like Otsu method is applied to the image. Pixels with intensities below the threshold are regarded as potential dark spot pixels while the others are potential background pixels. Second, the DoP of potential dark spot pixels is estimated. Pixels with DoP below a certain threshold are the real dark-spot pixels. Choosing the threshold is a critical and challenging step. In order to solve choosing the appropriate threshold, we introduce a novel but simple method based on DoP of potential dark spot pixels. Finally, an area threshold is used to eliminate any remaining false targets. The proposed approach is tested on L band NASA/JPL UAVSAR data, covering the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Comparing the obtained results from the new method with conventional approaches like Otsu, K-means and GrowCut shows better achievement of the proposed algorithm. For instance, mean square error (MSE) 65%, Overall Accuracy 20% and correlation 40% are improved.