Researchers have studied oil spills in open waters using remote sensors, but few have focused on extracting reflectance features of oil pollution on sea ice. An experiment was conducted on natural sea ice in Bohai Bay, China, to obtain the spectral reflectance of oil-contaminated sea ice. The spectral absorption index (SAI), spectral peak height (SPH), and wavelet detail coefficient (DWT d5) were calculated using stepwise multiple linear regression. The reflectances of some false targets were measured and analysed. The simulated false targets were sediment, iron ore fines, coal dust, and the melt pool. The measured reflectances were resampled using five common sensors (GF-2, Landsat8-OLI, Sentinel3-OLCI, MODIS, and AVIRIS). Some significant spectral features could discriminate between oil-polluted and clean sea ice. The indices correlated well with the oil area fractions. All of the adjusted R2
values exceeded 0.9. The SPH model1, based on spectral features at 507–670 and 1627–1746 nm, displayed the best fitting. The resampled data indicated that these multi-spectral and hyper-spectral sensors could be used to detect crude oil on the sea ice if the effect of noise and spatial resolution are neglected. The spectral features and their identified changes may provide reference on sensor design and band selection.
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