On Dual Co-Polarized SAR Measurements of Oil Spill on the Sea Surface
Hansen, Morten Wergeland1; Kudryavtsev, Vladimir2; Chapron, Bertrand3; Johnny A., Johannessen1

A new methodology using satellite high-resolution polarized information to analyze oil spill on the sea surface is assessed using five Radarsat-2 quad-polarization synthetic aperture radar (SAR) scenes over the Mexican Gulf in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident and over the North Sea during oil-on-water exercises in 2008 and 2012. The dual co-polarization (VV and HH) radar data is combined into polarization difference, polarization ratio, and non-polarized components. These derived fields provide means to distinguish radar returns from Bragg scattering and non-polarized scattering attributed to breaking waves. The quantitative characteristics of the surface manifestation of ocean currents, oil spill, and wind field features in these fields are very different, and may be used in the development of new oil spill detection algorithms.