An electromagnetic detection case study on crude oil injection in a young sea ice environment

Nariman Firoozy, Thomas Neusitzer, Durell S. Desmond, Tyler Tiede, Marcos J.L. Lemes, Jack Landy, Puyan Mojabi, Soren Rysgaard, Gary Stern, David G. Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
399 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a multidisciplinary case study on a crude oil injection experiment in an artificially grown young sea ice environment under controlled conditions. In particular, the changes in the geophysical and electromagnetic responses of the sea ice to oil introduction are investigated for this experiment. Furthermore, we perform a preliminary study on the detection of oil spills utilizing the normalized radar cross section (NRCS) data collected by a C-band scatterometer is presented. To this end, an inversion scheme is introduced that retrieves the effective complex permittivity of the domain prior and after oil injection by comparing the simulated and calibrated measured NRCS data, while roughness parameters calculated using lidar are utilized as prior information. Once the complex permittivity values are obtained, the volume fraction of oil within the sea ice is found using a mixture formula. Based on this volume fraction, a binary detection of oil presence seems to be possible for this test case. Finally, the possible sources of error in the retrieved effective volume fraction, which is an overestimate of the actual value, are identified and discussed by macrolevel and microlevel analyses through bulk salinity measurements and X-ray imagery of the samples, as well as a brief chemical analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4465-4475
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number8
Early online date2 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


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