Feature-based and statistical methods for analyzing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with AVIRIS imagery

Proceedings of SPIE
By: , and 



The Deepwater Horizon oil spill covered a very large geographical area in the Gulf of Mexico creating potentially serious environmental impacts on both marine life and the coastal shorelines. Knowing the oil's areal extent and thickness as well as denoting different categories of the oil's physical state is important for assessing these impacts. High spectral resolution data in hyperspectral imagery (HSI) sensors such as Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) provide a valuable source of information that can be used for analysis by semi-automatic methods for tracking an oil spill's areal extent, oil thickness, and oil categories. However, the spectral behavior of oil in water is inherently a highly non-linear and variable phenomenon that changes depending on oil thickness and oil/water ratios. For certain oil thicknesses there are well-defined absorption features, whereas for very thin films sometimes there are almost no observable features. Feature-based imaging spectroscopy methods are particularly effective at classifying materials that exhibit specific well-defined spectral absorption features. Statistical methods are effective at classifying materials with spectra that exhibit a considerable amount of variability and that do not necessarily exhibit well-defined spectral absorption features. This study investigates feature-based and statistical methods for analyzing oil spills using hyperspectral imagery. The appropriate use of each approach is investigated and a combined feature-based and statistical method is proposed.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Feature-based and statistical methods for analyzing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with AVIRIS imagery
Series title Proceedings of SPIE
ISBN 9780819487681
DOI 10.1117/12.894909
Volume 8158
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher SPIE
Contributing office(s) Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center
Conference Title Imaging Spectrometry XVI
Conference Location San Diego, CA
Conference Date August 22, 2011-August 23, 2011
Other Geospatial Gulf of Mexico