ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2021, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 85-96

Satellite-derived bathymetry in the coastal zone of the Black Sea from the surface wave field

S.V. Fedorov 1 , S.V. Stanichny 1 
1 Marine Hydrophysical Institute RAS, Sevastopol, Russia
Accepted: 13.12.2021
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2021-18-6-85-96
The work is devoted to demonstrating the possibility of retrieving bathymetry in the coastal zone of the Black Sea from satellite measurements in the optical range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The inverse problem of depth recovery is solved by determining the parameters of surface waves when they enter shallow water on the basis of linear wave theory. The satellite image was divided into blocks, within which the length and direction of the dominant wave were determined using a Fast Fourier transform. Further calculations were repeated in the direction of movement of the wave beam to the shore. The wave period in the first approximation is determined from the dispersion ratio for deep water and was considered constant along the wave beam. Using these estimates, the depth was determined using the dispersion ratio for shallow water in the first approximation. Further estimates of the period and depth were calculated by the method of successive iterations from the condition of minimizing the error in determining the radian frequency. The range of depths determined by the first method depends on the lengths of surface waves. With wave lengths of 30–40 m it is possible to restore depths down to 15–20 m, and when observing longer swell waves, the range of determined depths increases to 45 m. The use of this method is difficult in closed and/or wave-protected bays, because long waves do not penetrate into them, and short waves are not sensitive to changes in depth.
Keywords: satellite derived bathymetry, Sentinel-2, Resurs-P, Geoton, Black Sea
Full text


  1. Kirilin A. N., Akhmetov R. N., Stratilatov N. P., Baklanov A. I., Fedorov V. M., Novikov M. V., Resurs-P spacecraft, Geomatika, 2010, No. 4, pp. 23–26 (in Russian).
  2. Pivaev P. D., Kudryavtsev V. N., Balashova E. A., Chapron B., SAR Imaging Features of Shallow Water Bathymetry, Physical Oceanography, 2020, Vol. 27(3), pp. 290–304, DOI: 10.22449/1573-160X-2020-3-290-304.
  3. Yurovskaya M. V., Kudryavtsev V. N., Stanichny S. V., Reconstruction of surface wave kinematic characteristics and bathymetry from Geoton-L1 multichannal optical images from Resurs-P satellite, Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2019, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 218–226 (in Russian), DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2019-16-2-218-226.
  4. Bian X., Shao Y., Tian W., Wang S., Zhang C., Wang X., Zhang Z., Underwater Topography Detection in Coastal Areas Using Fully Polarimetric SAR Data, Remote Sensing, 2017, Vol. 9(6), Art. No. 560, DOI: 10.3390/rs9060560.
  5. Boccia V., Renga A., Moccia A., Zoffoli S., Tracking of Coastal Swell Fields in SAR Images for Sea Depth Retrieval: Application to ALOS L-Band Data, IEEE J. Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 2015, Vol. 8, No. 7, pp. 3532–3540, DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2015.2418273.
  6. Brusch S., Held P., Lehner S., Rosenthal W., Pleskachevsky A., Underwater Bottom Topography in Coastal Areas from TerraSAR-X Data, Intern. Remote Sensing, 2011, Vol. 32, No. 16, pp. 4527–4543, DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2010.489063.
  7. Dalrymple R. A., Kennedy A. B., Kirby J. T., Chen Q., Determining depth from remotely-sensed images, Coastal Engineering, Proc. 26th Intern. Conf., 22–26 June, 1998, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1998, Vol. 2, pp. 2395–2408.
  8. Danilo C., Melgani F., Wave Period and Coastal Bathymetry Using Wave Propagation on Optical Images, IEEE Trans. Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2016, Vol. 54, No. 11, pp. 6307–6319, DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2016.2579266.
  9. Drusch M., Bello U. D., Carlier S., Colin O., Fernandez V., Gascon F., Hoersch B., Isola C., Laberinti P., Martimort P., Meygret A., Spoto F., Sy O., Marchese F., Bargellini P. L., Sentinel-2: ESA’s Optical High-Resolution Mission for GMES Operational Services, Remote Sensing of Environment, 2012, Vol. 120, pp. 25–3, DOI: 10.1016/J.RSE.2011.11.026.
  10. Holland T. K., Application of the Linear Dispersion Relation with Respect to Depth Inversion and Remotely Sensed Imagery, IEEE Trans. Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2001, Vol. 39, No. 9, pp. 2060–2072, DOI: 10.1109/36.951097.
  11. Lee Z. P., Carder K. L., Mobley C. D., Steward R. G., Patch J. S., Hyperspectral remote sensing for shallow waters: 1. A semianalytical model, Applied Optics, 1999, Vol. 37(27), pp. 6329–6338, DOI: 10.1364/ao.37.006329.
  12. Leu L.-G., Kuo Y.-Y., Liu C.-T., Coastal Bathymetry from the Wave Spectrum of SPOT Images, Coastal Engineering, 1999, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 21–41, DOI: 10.1142/s0578563499000036.
  13. Li J., Zhang H., Hou P., Zheng G., Mapping the Bathymetry of Shallow Coastal Water Using Single-Frame Fine-Resolution Optical Remote Sensing Imagery, Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 60–66, DOI: 10.1007/s13131-016-0797-x.
  14. Lyzenga D. R., Remote Sensing of Bottom Reflectance and Water Attenuation Parameters in Shallow Water Using Aircraft and Landsat Data, Intern. J. Remote Sensing, 1981, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 71–82, DOI: 10.1080/01431168108948342.
  15. Pe’eri S., Azuike C., Parrish C., Satellite Remote Sensing as a Reconnaissance Tool for Assessing Nautical Chart Adequacy and Completeness, Marine Geodesy, 2014, Vol. 37, pp. 293–314, DOI: 10.1080/01490419.2014.902880.
  16. Philpot W., Bathymetric Mapping with Passive Multispectral Imagery, Applied Optics, 1989, Vol. 28, pp. 1569–1578, DOI: 10.1364/AO.28.001569.
  17. Piotrowski C. C., Dugan J. P., Accuracy of Bathymetry and Current Retrievals from Airborne Optical Time-Series Imaging of Shoaling Waves, IEEE Trans. Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2002, Vol. 40, No. 12, pp. 2606–2618, DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2002.807578.
  18. Populus J., Aristaghes C., Jonsson L., Augustin J., Pouliquen E., The Use of SPOT Data for Wave Analysis, Remote Sensing of Environment, 1991, Vol. 36, pp. 55–65, DOI: 10.1016/0034-4257(91)90030-A.
  19. Stumpf R. P., Holderied K., Sinclair M., Determination of Water Depth with High-Resolution Satellite Imagery over Variable Bottom Types, Limnology and Oceanography, 2003, Vol. 48, pp. 547–556, DOI: 10.4319/LO.2003.48.1_PART_2.0547.
  20. The International Hydrographic Review, International Hydrographic Organization, 2017, 53 p., available at: