Simpson MD, Marino A, de Maagt P, Gandini E, Hunter P, Spyrakos E, Tyler A & Telfer T (2022) Monitoring of Plastic Islands in River Environment Using Sentinel-1 SAR Data. Remote Sensing, 14 (18), Art. No.: 4473. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14184473
Plastics in the river environment are of major concern due to their potential pathways into the ocean, their persistence in the environment, and their impacts on human and marine health. It has been documented that plastic concentrations in riparian environments are higher following major rain events, where plastic can be moved through surface runoff. Considering the hazard that plastic waste poses to the environment, monitoring techniques are needed to aid in locating, monitoring, and remediating plastic waste within these systems. Dams are known to trap sediments and pollutants, such as metals and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). While there is an established background on the monitoring of dams using the synoptic coverage provided by satellite imaging to observe water quality and volume, the detection of marine debris in riparian systems remains challenging, especially in cloudy conditions. Herein, we exploit the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to understand its capabilities for monitoring marine debris. This research focuses on detecting plastic islands within the Drina River system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Here, the results show that the monitoring of these plastic accumulations is feasible using Sentinel-1 SAR data. A quantitative analysis of detection performance is presented using traditional and state-of-the-art change detectors. The analysis of these detectors indicates that detectors that can utilise the coherent data from Single Look Complex (SLC) acquisitions are perform better when compared with those that only utilise incoherent data from Ground Range-Detected (GRD) acquisitions, with true positive detection ratings of ~95% with 0.1% false alarm rates seen in the best-performing detector. We also found that that the cross-pol VH channel provides better detection than those based on single-pol VV polarisation.
Sentinel-1; change detection; marine debris; plastic accumulation
Remote Sensing: Volume 14, Issue 18
|European Space Agency
|Publication date online
|Date accepted by journal