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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(6), 459; doi:10.3390/rs8060459

Effects of Per-Pixel Variability on Uncertainties in Bathymetric Retrievals from High-Resolution Satellite Images

1
Coastal Development and Management Program, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, GPO Box 1666, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
2
National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (CNR-ISAC), Rome 00133, Italy
3
Earth Observation and Informatics FSP, CSIRO Land and Water, GPO Box 1666, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Deepak R. Mishra, Richard W. Gould, Magaly Koch and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 8 January 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Coastal Environments)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3030 KB, uploaded 2 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

Increased sophistication of high spatial resolution multispectral satellite sensors provides enhanced bathymetric mapping capability. However, the enhancements are counter-acted by per-pixel variability in sunglint, atmospheric path length and directional effects. This case-study highlights retrieval errors from images acquired at non-optimal geometrical combinations. The effects of variations in the environmental noise on water surface reflectance and the accuracy of environmental variable retrievals were quantified. Two WorldView-2 satellite images were acquired, within one minute of each other, with Image 1 placed in a near-optimal sun-sensor geometric configuration and Image 2 placed close to the specular point of the Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF). Image 2 had higher total environmental noise due to increased surface glint and higher atmospheric path-scattering. Generally, depths were under-estimated from Image 2, compared to Image 1. A partial improvement in retrieval error after glint correction of Image 2 resulted in an increase of the maximum depth to which accurate depth estimations were returned. This case-study indicates that critical analysis of individual images, accounting for the entire sun elevation and azimuth and satellite sensor pointing and geometry as well as anticipated wave height and direction, is required to ensure an image is fit for purpose for aquatic data analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: benthic; aquatic; acquisition geometry; radiative transfer; analytical model inversion/optimization; WorldView-2; image quality; sun glint; environmental noise; optically complex waters benthic; aquatic; acquisition geometry; radiative transfer; analytical model inversion/optimization; WorldView-2; image quality; sun glint; environmental noise; optically complex waters
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Botha, E.J.; Brando, V.E.; Dekker, A.G. Effects of Per-Pixel Variability on Uncertainties in Bathymetric Retrievals from High-Resolution Satellite Images. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 459.

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