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Application of Spaceborne SAR for Rapid Environmental Assessment: Efficient Monitoring and Updating of Coastal Bathymetries

Cees De Valk(1) and Geert J. Wensink(1)

(1) ARGOSS, P.O. Box 61, 8325 ZH Vollenhove, Netherlands


The Bathymetry Assessment System (BAS) constructs depth maps from radar images and a limited number of echo soundings by numerical inversion of a two-dimensional model for the imaging mechanism. This paper describes the current version of BAS. Some recent results are presented.

With the best ERS or ENVISAT images, BAS is able to produce high quality bathymetric maps in coastal waters with complex topography up to 30 m depth. In simpler areas like shoals the requirements on the radar image are less restrictive, especially when additional information from optical images is used. It will be shown that in such areas BAS yields bathymetric maps with a quality that is comparable to that of traditional maps based on dense echo soundings. Another application of the BAS is for updating outdated charts with recently acquired satellite data for rapid environmental assessment. An example of an updated coastal chart of different estuaries around the world will be shown.



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