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On the exploitation of polarimetric SAR data to map damping properties of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

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A polarimetric scattering model is proposed to exploit quad-polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data to both observe surfactants at sea and provide the first information on the spatial variability of their damping properties. The model is based on the departure from the clean sea surface Bragg/tilted Bragg scattering mechanism. This departure is shown to be a function of the surfactant’s characteristics, and therefore, it is exploited to map them. Case studies of polarimetric SAR data collected during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico are examined. The approach is robust enough to successfully exploit both L-band airborne and C-band satellite SAR data. This is of paramount importance, even operationally, since it makes this physical approach cross-sensors and, therefore, suitable to exploit all the operational polarimetric missions, thus allowing a denser spatial/temporal coverage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Universit√° degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Centro Direzionale Isola C4, 80143, Napoli, Italy

Publication date: May 19, 2014

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