WIT Press

Coastal Monitoring With High Resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar


Free (open access)





Page Range

161 - 170




969 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


P. Trivero, W. Biamino, M. Borasi & M. Cavagnero


Coastal areas are dynamic zones affected by natural change and human use: they contain rich resources to produce goods and services and are home to most commercial and industrial activities, as well as fragile and valuable ecosystems. A continuous monitoring activity is essential to prevent environmental threats that can be very dangerous for such a sensitive ecosystem. Satellite-borne sensors are valuable tools for this purpose, particularly the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which is able to operate by day and night in any weather conditions. In the past, the limited revisit time was the main drawback of SARs, because of the small number of operating sensors. In the past year several new satellites have been launched, with acquisition modes characterised by large swaths; now a daily revisit is possible for high and mid-latitude areas included between the tropic and the Arctic Circle. Moreover, spatial resolutions available from new sensors are so high (up to 1 meter per pixel) that it is now possible to observe details in close proximity of coastal zones. We present a monitoring system under development, based on multi-sensor SAR from which we extract marine features such as high resolution wind and wave fields and sea surface pollution. Methodologies and operational exempla are described. The system is primarily designed for monitoring activities at regional and local scales. Focusing on a particular area, it is possible to gather and integrate all available data for a comprehensive observation and management of both routine and emergency events. Keywords: sea surface slicks, coastal wind, SAR remote sensing.


sea surface slicks, coastal wind, SAR remote sensing