Texture analysis of sar sea ice imagery using gray level co-occurrence matrices

Leen Kiat Soh, Costas Tsatsoulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

944 Scopus citations


This paper presents a preliminary study for mapping sea ice patterns (texture) with 100-m ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. We used gray-level co-occurrence matrices (GLCM) to quantitatively evaluate textural parameters and representations and to determine which parameter values and representations are best for mapping sea ice texture. We conducted experiments on the quantization levels of the image and the displacement and orientation values of the GLCM by examining the effects textural descriptors such as entropy have in the representation of different sea ice textures. We showed that a complete gray-level representation of the image is not necessary for texture mapping, an eight-level quantization representation is undesirable for textural representation, and the displacement factor in texture measurements is more important than orientation. In addition, we developed three GLCM implementations and evaluated them by a supervised Bayesian classifier on sea ice textural contexts. This experiment concludes that the best GLCM implementation in representing sea ice texture is one that utilizes a range of displacement values such that both microtextures and macrotextures of sea ice can be adequately captured. These findings define the quantization, displacement, and orientation values that are the best for SAR sea ice texture analysis using GLCM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-795
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-occurrence matrix
  • SAR
  • Sea ice, texture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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