The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B8
23 Jun 2016
 | 23 Jun 2016


M. Niroumand-Jadidi and A. Vitti

Keywords: Bathymetry, River, Optimal Band Ratio Analysis, WorldView-3, GeoEye, Spectral Bands

Abstract. The Optimal Band Ratio Analysis (OBRA) could be considered as an efficient technique for bathymetry from optical imagery due to its robustness on substrate variability. This point receives more attention for very shallow rivers where different substrate types can contribute remarkably into total at-sensor radiance. The OBRA examines the total possible pairs of spectral bands in order to identify the optimal two-band ratio that its log transformation yields a strong linear relation with field measured water depths. This paper aims at investigating the effectiveness of additional spectral bands of newly launched WorldView-3 (WV-3) imagery in the visible and NIR spectrum through OBRA for retrieving water depths in shallow rivers. In this regard, the OBRA is performed on a WV-3 image as well as a GeoEye image of a small Alpine river in Italy. In-situ depths are gathered in two river reaches using a precise GPS device. In each testing scenario, 50% of the field data is used for calibration of the model and the remained as independent check points for accuracy assessment. In general, the effect of changes in water depth is highly pronounced in longer wavelengths (i.e. NIR) due to high and rapid absorption of light in this spectrum as long as it is not saturated. As the studied river is shallow, NIR portion of the spectrum has not been reduced so much not to reach the riverbed; making use of the observed radiance over this spectral range as denominator has shown a strong correlation through OBRA. More specifically, tightly focused channels of red-edge, NIR-1 and NIR-2 provide a wealth of choices for OBRA rather than a single NIR band of conventional 4-band images (e.g. GeoEye). This advantage of WV-3 images is outstanding as well for choosing the optimal numerator of the ratio model. Coastal-blue and yellow bands of WV-3 are identified as proper numerators while only green band of the GeoEye image contributed to a reliable correlation of image derived values and field measured depths. According to the results, the additional and narrow spectral bands of WV-3 image lead to an average determination coefficient of 67% in two river segments, which is 10% higher than that of obtained from the 4-band GeoEye image. In addition, RMSEs of depth estimations are calculated as 4 cm and 6 cm respectively for WV-3 and GeoEye images, considering the optimal band ratio.