Sea ice detection using concurrent multispectral and synthetic aperture radar imagery

Rogers, Martin S.J. ORCID:; Fox, Maria ORCID:; Fleming, Andrew ORCID:; van Zeeland, Louisa; Wilkinson, Jeremy; Hosking, J. Scott ORCID: 2024 Sea ice detection using concurrent multispectral and synthetic aperture radar imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment, 305, 114073. 14, pp.

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Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery is the primary data type used for sea ice mapping due to its spatiotemporal coverage and the ability to detect sea ice independent of cloud and lighting conditions. Automatic sea ice detection using SAR imagery remains problematic due to the presence of ambiguous signal and noise within the image. Conversely, ice and water are easily distinguishable using multispectral imagery (MSI), but in the polar regions the ocean's surface is often occluded by cloud or the sun may not appear above the horizon for many months. To address some of these limitations, this paper proposes a new tool trained using concurrent multispectral Visible and SAR imagery for sea Ice Detection (ViSual_IceD). ViSual_IceD is a convolution neural network (CNN) that builds on the classic U-Net architecture by containing two parallel encoder stages, enabling the fusion and concatenation of MSI and SAR imagery containing different spatial resolutions. The performance of ViSual_IceD is compared with U-Net models trained using concatenated MSI and SAR imagery as well as models trained exclusively on MSI or SAR imagery. ViSual_IceD outperforms the other networks, with a F1 score 1.30% points higher than the next best network, and results indicate that ViSual_IceD is selective in the image type it uses during image segmentation. Outputs from ViSual_IceD are compared to sea ice concentration products derived from the AMSR2 Passive Microwave (PMW) sensor. Results highlight how ViSual_IceD is a useful tool to use in conjunction with PMW data, particularly in coastal regions. As the spatial-temporal coverage of MSI and SAR imagery continues to increase, ViSual_IceD provides a new opportunity for robust, accurate sea ice coverage detection in polar regions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00344257
Additional Keywords: Convolutional neural network, Sea ice, Synthetic aperture radar, Multispectral imagery, Remote sensing
Date made live: 04 Mar 2024 11:05 +0 (UTC)

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