SENTINEL-1/2 DATA FOR SHIP TRAFFIC MONITORING ON THE DANUBE RIVER
Keywords: Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, Ship Detection, Water Mask, Danube River, Low Water Level
Abstract. After a long period of drought, the water level of the Danube River has significantly dropped especially on the Romanian sector, in July-August 2015. Danube reached the lowest water level recorded in the last 12 years, causing the blockage of the ships in the sector located close to Zimnicea Harbour. The rising sand banks in the navigable channel congested the commercial traffic for a few days with more than 100 ships involved. The monitoring of the decreasing water level and the traffic jam was performed based on Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 free data provided by the European Space Agency and the European Commission within the Copernicus Programme. Specific processing methods (calibration, speckle filtering, geocoding, change detection, image classification, principal component analysis, etc.) were applied in order to generate useful products that the responsible authorities could benefit from. The Sentinel data yielded good results for water mask extraction and ships detection. The analysis continued after the closure of the crisis situation when the water reached the nominal level again. The results indicate that Sentinel data can be successfully used for ship traffic monitoring, building the foundation of future endeavours for a durable monitoring of the Danube River.