Quantifying the particle size of intertidal sediments with satellite remote sensing in the visible light, thermal infrared and microwave spectral domain

D. Van Derwal*, P. M.J. Herman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Information on sediment grain-size of intertidal areas is required for coastal management, e.g. for habitat and ecotope mapping and dredging studies. This study aims to derive such information from visible and near-infrared (VNIR), shortwave-infrared (SWIR), and thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing as well as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) using satellite imagery. Surface reflectance in the VNIR and SWIR was derived from a Landsat ETM+ L1G image, surface emissivity in the TIR was obtained from a Terrra ASTER T2_05 image, and the backscattering coefficient was estimated from an ERS-2 SAR PRI image. Corroborative data of the median grain-size of the sediment was obtained during field campaigns on an intertidal flat in the Westerschelde (southwest Netherlands). Algorithms have been developed using regression modelling; they were based on the separate remote sensing sources, as well as on synergy of information derived from the different sensors. The algorithms were applied to the satellite imagery to generate maps of the particle size of intertidal sediments. In all spectral domains, significant results have been achieved. A combination of VNIR, TIR and SAR was found to yield best results for mapping the particle size of intertidal sediments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Symposium on Remote Sensing: From Pixels to Processes 2006 - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 8 May 200611 May 2006


  • Mapping
  • Regression modelling
  • SAR
  • Sediment grain-size
  • Synergy
  • TIR
  • VNIR

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