The increased availability of civil synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite images with different resolution allows us to compare the imaging capabilities of these instruments, to assess the quality of the available data and to investigate different areas (e.g., the Wadden Sea region). In our investigation, we propose to explore the content of TerraSAR-X and Sentinel-1A satellite images via a data mining approach in which the main steps are patch tiling, feature extraction, classification, semantic annotation and visual-statistical analytics. Once all the extracted categories are mapped and quantified, then the next step is to interpret them from an environmental point of view. The objective of our study is the application of semi-automated SAR image interpretation. Its novelty is the automated multiclass categorisation of coastal areas. We found out that the north-west of the Netherlands can be interpreted routinely as land surfaces by our satellite image analyses, while for the Wadden Sea, we can discriminate the different water levels and their impact on the visibility of the tidal flats. This necessitates a selection of time series data spanning a full tidal cycle.
Part of the book: Topics in Radar Signal Processing