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GNR 618 - Report

Classification of Sea Ice Using Optical & SAR data

GNR 618 - Remote Sensing and GIS Applications to Cryosphere

Hanisha Nagati Mohit Kherwa Sri Harsha Bandaru

Roll no : 150070054 Roll no : 150070029 Roll no : 170070045
Electrical Engineering Electrical Engineering Electrical Engineering

Under the supervision of

Prof Gulab Singh
GNR 618 - Report

Chapter 1

1.1 Background
The use of satellites has allowed for the detailed monitoring of the Polar Regions in high
temporal and spatial resolutions. Remote sensing of sea ice is conducted in the visible, infrared
(IR) and microwave spectral regions. Each has its own capabilities and limitations for sea ice
mapping and derivation of ice parameter​s.
The study of sea ice is a field of research that has gained much attention in recent years.
Anthropogenic climate change, which has been hotly disputed for decades and dismissed as
scientifically unsound is now accepted as a reality.
Despite the obvious challenges climate change poses to humanity, there is another
important, albeit unintuitive reason that gives great importance to the study of sea ice. The
retreating of the Arctic sea ice, and consequently, the availability of more sea area for
exploration has serious industrial and geopolitical consequences for the region.Sea ice restricts
maritime activity in the Arctic regions so it is crucial for navigation to have access to synoptic
environmental observations of the sea ice and ocean conditions and their forecasts.

1.2 Sea Ice

Sea ice is simply frozen water.It forms, grows and melts in ocean. It forms in both the
Arctic and the Antarctic in each hemisphere’s winter; it retreats in the summer, but does not
completely disappear. This floating ice has a profound influence on the polar environment,
influencing ocean circulation, weather, and regional climate.
As ice crystals form at the ocean surface, they expel salt, which increases the salinity of
the underlying waters. This cold, salty water is dense and can sink to the ocean floor, where it
flows back toward the equator. The sea ice layer also restricts wind and wave action near
coastlines, lessening coastal erosion and protecting ice shelves. Sea ice also creates an
insulating cap across the ocean surface, which reduces evaporation and heat loss to the
atmosphere. As a result, the weather over ice-covered areas tends to be colder and drier than it
would be without ice.
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Se​a Ice Types :

A. New Ice :

New ice is a general term for ice that has recently formed and include ice types such as
frazil ice, grease ice, slush and shuga. These types of ice are defined by a water mixture
of fine ice crystals and are weakly frozen together.

Fragil Ice Grease Ice Slush Ice

B. Nilas

Nilas ice is described as a thin, elastic crust of ice that is able to bend easily on waves
and the swell. This ice type is described as having a matt surface and is up to 10cm
thick. Subdivisions of this ice type include dark nilas, which is under 5cm in thickness
and is dark in colour and light nilas, which is between 5 and 10cm in thickness and is
described as being lighter in colour than dark nilas.

C. Young Ice

Young ice is a transition stage between nilas and first-year ice, and ranges in thickness
from 10 cm to 30 cm, Young ice can be further subdivided into grey ice – 10 cm (3.9 in)
to 15 cm thickness, and grey-white ice – 15 cm to 30 cm in thickness. Young ice is not
as flexible as nilas, but tends to break under wave action. In a compression regime, it will
either raft (at the grey ice stage) or ridge (at the grey-white ice stage).

D. First Year Ice

First-year sea ice is ice that is thicker than young ice but has no more than one year
growth. In other words, it is ice that grows in the fall and winter (after it has gone through
the new ice – nilas – young ice stages and grows further) but does not survive the spring
and summer months (it melts away). .
GNR 618 - Report

E. Old Ice

Old sea ice is sea ice that has survived at least one melting season (i.e. one summer).
For this reason, this ice is generally thicker than first-year sea ice. Old ice is commonly
divided into two types: second-year ice, which has survived one melting season, and
multiyear ice, which has survived more than one.

F. Fast Ice

Fast ice (also called land-fast ice, landfast ice, and shore-fast ice) is sea ice that is
"fastened" to the coastline, to the ​sea floor​ along ​shoals​ or to grounded icebergs.Fast ice
may either grow in place from the ​sea water​ or by freezing pieces of drifting ice to the
shore or other anchor sites​.

G. Ice Plumes

Ice plumes are the ice pieces that fall into the ocean from the adjoining glaciers/ice shelf.
GNR 618 - Report

1.3 Project Objective

Spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has been used operationally for sea ice
monitoring applications such as climate research and ship navigation.SAR is sensitive to the
geometric structure of a material, its dielectric properties and its roughness characteristics.
Optical sensors are sensitive to reflective and emissive characteristics of a material, which both
depend greatly on the materials thickness. The integrated use of data from SAR and optical
sensors for the investigation of sea ice is an emerging area of research.
Manual pixel-level interpretation of SAR sea ice images is not feasible and an automated
approach is desired.So here SVM based classification for SAR data and Semantic
Segmentation for optical data have been discussed.
GNR 618 - Report

Chapter 2
2.1 Introduction
Classification of operational sea ice is important for ship navigation and Environmental
monitoring.Sea ice plays a major role in maintaining global temperatures as net energy intake
reduces with increase in ice layer as ice has very high reflectivity.Mapping and identification of
ice types by categorizing a promising classifier for the data analysis is the objective of the
research work. Hence the boundary between the targets is achieved especially in satellite
images. This could be a complex task as the number of surface cover types will always be
evident in the captured SAR images.
Major challenges faced during sea ice classification are
❏ Low Distinguishability
❏ Low level feature detection is insufficient for robust classification
❏ Hence, most of the conventional CV methods fails

❏ Lack of Dataset
❏ Deep Learning methods need more data to get good results

2.2 SVM based Classification

The process takes place as shown below
GNR 618 - Report

1. Color Enhancement :
In radar images, it is often difficult to see low frequency variations because of high
frequency features from small scale topography.Synthetic color image transform is used in this
experiment to improve the subtle large scale features and to preserve the edge factors. Here,
the grayscale input is converted to synthetic color by applying high pass and low pass filters
which, therefore, separates the high and low frequency information. Hue (H) is assigned to low
frequency information, and high frequency information to the value (V). HV with saturation level
are transformed to RGB so as to produce the synthetic color image. This simple enhancement
of the color saturation in the RGB color space is achieved by the transformation of equation (1)
on each pixel.

2. Edge Sharpening :
Edge sharpening technique is applied further after the color enhancement to produce
elevated sharpness around the margins of individual targets. Image sharpening takes
place by merging the low-resolution color image with a high-resolution grayscale
image and re-sampling the output to the high-resolution pixel size.
HSV Sharpening :
HSV sharpening is used to transform HSV color space
and replace the value band with the high-resolution. This technique re-samples the H
and S bands by using the nearest neighbor method and the output result is shown with
high pixel size.
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3. SVM Based Classification :

Instance classifiers classify the coarse classes appropriately, but more detailed
classification is required for ice mapping.In SVM classification widest margin is found
between the classes and hyperplane is used to separate and predict classes.Kernel
transformations are used for separability.

In remote sensing data, instance classifiers classify the coarse classes

appropriately,but more detailed classification is required for ice mapping. Hence, it is
much importance to possess more detail spectral information. In order to subdivide the
classes,knowledge about spatial distribution is taken to find the difference in the mass of
the object class correspondingly.
The training labels derived are from four classes such as cloud, thin-ice,
middle-ice and water. In neural network approach, a given unknown pixel or a region is
classified into one of the predefined classes. To avoid unknown class and to sharpen
boundaries between the classes, support vector machine (SVM) is used. Three kernels
of SVM are studied in order to find high possibility of accurate results.This study is
analyzing three types of SVM kernels, i.e., linear, polynomial and sigmoid.
GNR 618 - Report

Pros :
● Possibility to work with small datasets

● Easy to Implement

● Computationally inexpensive

Cons :

● Low accuracy for complex data (too many classes)

● Often a lot of pre and post processing needed to achieve accurate results

2.3 Semantic Segmentation

Semantic segmentation describes the process of associating each pixel of an image with a
class label.
The steps for training a semantic segmentation network are as follows:
1. Analyze Training Data for Semantic Segmentation
2. Create a Semantic Segmentation Network
3. Train A Semantic Segmentation Network
4. Evaluate and Inspect the Results of Semantic Segmentation
5. Import Pixel Labeled Dataset For Semantic Segmentation
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Pros :
● Works robustly even for diverse data

● Lots of variations available

● No pre or post processing needed (End-to-end Learning)

Cons :

● Hard to Implement

● Computationally expensive

● More data is required for good results